Jon Bellion: Every Album, Every Phase
This week I have been unable to rip myself away from the unique and complex sound that is Jon Bellion‘s music. I find that he is a good middle man where he has had hits like The Weeknd but also can be labelled as a smaller artist like AJR.
Jon Bellion is a pop artist from Long Island, New York. Bellion uses his talent and platform to cover a multitude of topics discreetly while still laying out the facts in his music. He also uses a multitude of sounds and tones in his songs that are extremely “unconventional” to the modern day art.
I first found Bellion‘s music when his hit song “All Time Low” (released in 2016 on The Human Condition) was surfacing in the radio world. Every radio station played this song at least a dozen times a day and continue to play this song even today.
What made this song so different, and what set’s him apart as an artist, is how he uses sounds and tones that no other artist has thought to use in the way he has in his music. On that album alone there are many sounds such as babies crying or what I can only assume to be an elevator button being pressed in every song. And what makes them so special is that they are subtly in the background of most of the songs.
While his music began to be picked up in 2016, he actually had three albums out before releasing The Human Condition. In 2014 he released his album The Definition. This album consists of 11 songs, all with their own designated sound while still combing his signatures in all.
I find that I personally have been gravitating to “Luxury (feat. Audra Mae)” a lot this week. The musicality combined with both his and Audra Mae’s vocals provides such a heavenly feeling. They lyrics, if one listens close enough to process them, are extremely impactful and talk about how he fears finding comfort in luxuries. Something that is truly interesting that he does in his songs is he makes the background vocals and his vocals have a conversation, often changing the point of views when speaking. I think the beauty in this song sets it apart from any other pop songs.
Another song off of this album is called “An Immigrant.” This song is a story told from the point of view of an immigrant and covers all of their trials about being in America. The opening of the song is a woman’s voice asking a question over a loud speaker, making it seem as if you are in an airport or boat port. I find this song is so unique and I appreciate that it talks about a topic as difficult as immigration. While this may not be the soul purpose of the song, many artists wouldn’t even attempt to emulate the emotions Bellion does.
And the last song from this album that I will recommend is “Ooh (feat. Christianne Jensen).” This song is nothing short of a beautifully produced ballad. While providing listeners with early Baroque-era vibes mixed with modern innovation, this song is virtually perfect. I’d expect to see this be a romance ballad in some love or sad movie, where the character is professing his love for his significant other.
On his next album The Human Condition (2016), all fourteen songs are quite notable. This album shows his growth from some more lighthearted songs into a darker era. This captures his versatility in the music world while still continuing to tell a story.
From this album I find that the most influential song is “Morning in America” a contrast song from the previous album’s “An Immigrant.” This song is telling a story of a young adult moving from teen years to young adulthood and the pressures of the American culture that come with those years. I think this song is an anthem in how it calls out many American norms.
His most recent album Glory Sound Prep (2018) is one of his darkest and most heartfelt albums to be released. Every song from this album has a story of its own to tell, while still being able to relate to one another.
From this arrangement of songs I find myself listening to “JT” the most. While still having an upbeat sound but darker lyrics embodying humility and excitement, this song is a masterpiece. I would expect to find this song in a spy or action movie as the main character is driving up the coast of some beach, while making his or her plans on how to defeat their nemesis.
Another notable song is “Let’s Begin (feat. Roc Marciano, RZA, B. Keyz & Travis Mendes).”This song could also be featured in an action movie, seeing as it’s vibe overall is darker and more urgent. With this combination of artists the energy of this song is unmatched. It’s duration is five minutes, breaking from the traditional three to four minutes many are used to in the music world.
Overall as an artist, I find that Bellion‘s versatility is extremely appealing to a listener such as myself. I am always looking for a new and enticing sound and with as many artists as there are today its hard to emulate what he does. His combinations of everyday sounds, meaningful lyrics, and musical strings sets him apart from every other artist.
Keep on listening!