Jon Bellion is one of my favorite artists right now. And for good reason. Dude makes good music.
I discovered him last May and loved his “The Definition” album so much that I went out of my way to see him live. Him being a New York boy, he sold out his Irving Plaza show so I had to do something I’ve never done; go to a out of state concert. Headed out to Philadelphia in June of 2015 and went to his show at Union Transfer and had a total blast. As good as a song maker he is, he is just as good a performer and I appreciated the hell out of that. Headed back to New York the next day with a whole lot more appreciation for the dude.
Oh, did I mention I met him before the show?
Highlight of my LIFE bruh.
Anyway, he’s been doing the music thing for a few years now and he’s been doing it for free. 3 albums: Translation Through Speakers, The Separation and The Definition. All of them GOOD. Poppy but good. I checked out the other 2 albums after the show and definitely appreciated him even more. The dude is diverse. I can’t say I’m a big pop fan but the vibe of his music and just the general sound was so different and so good. He can sing, he can rap, he can beatbox, he can produce, he can write. He ended up being the writer behind Eminem’s Monster hook (if you remember that) so dude is definitely multi talented and it easily shows through his music. He built a fan base capable of selling out shows across the country off the power of his three albums and if he hasn’t blown up by now, he definitely will with his first commercial album: The Human Condition. He released this album back in June so seriously forgive me for being so late on the review. Regardless even 3 months later, I’m still enjoying the hell out of this album.
So let’s get to the review. I will be using a new format since the track by track review takes wayyy too long for me to format and kills my motivation to actually write a review. I’ll be using something called the Highlights and the Low Points. They’re pretty self explanatory but I’ll be using the Highlights section to point out my favorite songs from the album and then the Low Points section to point out the less memorable stuff. This continues the format I’ve been using for the last 3 album reviews, Frank Ocean’s Endless and Blonde and Gallant’s Ology.
So let’s finally do this.
Honestly the whole album is great and when I’m in a fantastic mood, I can listen to the whole thing in one go. But there’s a bunch of great songs on it such as He Is The Same. It’s the intro track to the album and he opens it up with this nice hybrid of chiptune and beatboxing. Jon excels at making his own beats using sounds he makes on his own so its in full effect here with Jon singing/rapping about his success not having an effect on the kind of person he is and always will be.
All Time Low was the jam to listen to this time last year when Jon went ahead and released 3 songs all at the same time, All Time Low, Woke the Fuck Up and Woodstock. So here’s Jon putting it on his new album albeit remastered and mixed with some choir singers. It sounds great and it honestly fits on the album.
New York Soul Part 2. Easily one of my favorite songs on the album,J on raps his ass off like he’s never done on a track before (that I can remember) to a tough bass guitar beat then followed by a twisted version with Jon singing/rapping/
screaming idk his soul out including one of the more telling lyrics I can relate to:
I need a family that loves me right
Don’t need a chain, don’t need a club at night
I had a conversation with an angel
She told me I’d cheat death if I stayed away from the party life
Told myself I’m keeping my faith
If it costs me my reputation, then take it, I’ll give it all away
Overwhelming is catchy as catchy can be, Weight of the World is a mostly acoustic song detailing Jon singing about the difficulties of the expectations he had on him since he’s been making music (at least that’s what I caught) until the end where the switch up comes and Blaque Keyz spits a pretty dope verse with a twisted instrumental of the song playing in the background. It even sounds better live. Guillotine is a lot of fun to listen to as well.
He closes off the album with The Hand of God (Outro) which is quite honestly, my favorite track on the album. Jon has said before on Twitter and in a interview that he was quite proud of the work he put in this track and I can quite easily see why with that beautiful choir halfway through the song. Managing to also include snippets of about 6 of his songs off the album (All Time Low, He Is The Same, Overwhelming, Guillotine, New York Soul Part 2 and 80s Films), he closes off his first album with something truly fantastic that I can’t help but listen to, over and over again. It’s just gorgeous.
There are none to be honest. Sure there’s less memorable tracks on the album like 80’s Films which when it came out as a single before the album came out, I thought it was nothing special. As a part of the album, it honestly fits so I don’t mind it too much. I thought Morning in America was okay as well but I dig it enough so it’s not a big deal.
So that’s my review of Jon Bellion’s The Human Condition. I apologize for being horribly inconsistent with my writing. I actually went ahead and saw him live in New York in July and he was as amazing as he was the first time I saw him. Dude’s an incredible artist, a great performer and I can’t wait to just keep hearing more music from him. The progression from each body of work he’s had over the years from Translations Through Speakers, The Separation, The Definition and now The Human Condition is pretty cool considering he has great songs on all of those bodies of work. I’ve only been a fan for a year so I’m catching him as he’s blowing up and selling out multiple shows in his home of New York so there’s no telling where he’s gonna go from here. Let’s just hope nothing has changed and He Is The Same.
So that’s a music review down and a few more to go. There’s a few albums that have come out this year that were pretty awesome and I’d like to talk about so I’m going to go do that and hope people enjoy reading them. I hope you enjoy my Better Late Than Never series.
Otherwise, thanks for reading. Catch you next time.