After blowing us away with 2014’s mixtape The Definition, self-made boy wonder Jon Bellion paints an incredible epic on his debut album titled The Human Condition. This release marks Bellion’s first proper LP under a major label and comes preceded by lead single “Guillotine” and previously released singles “Woke The F*ck Up”and “All Time Low”, and instant gratification tracks “Maybe IDK” and “80’s Films.”
Bellion jumpstarts the album with “He Is The Same”, a glitchy, hip-pop track that manages to perfectly capture the essence of Jon Bellion as an artist, which might be the entire purpose of the track. Both thematically and sonically, “He Is the Same” serves as an easy way to reassure fans that, although he is releasing music through a major label this time around, Bellion has maintained both his integrity, control and signature sound.
Bellion is conscious of the formula that, slowly but surely, catapulted him to stardom and tracks such as “New York Soul, Pt. ii” show that he is in fact well aware of it. “Advantage of demographics, I’m Jigga, Bruno and Sam Smith. I’m moving business, I’m Taylor Swift in a van” Bellion raps, reinforcing what we already knew — his appeal, like that of a wondrous, musical chameleon, knows no bounds. As an artist, the New York native has found the way to successfully fuse both hip hop and straight up pop melodies without making his music inaccessible to lovers of either genre.
“The Human Condition”
Artist: Jon Bellion
Genre: Pop, Hip-Hop
Release: June 10, 2016
Label: Capitol Records
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
The Human Condition does not stray away from Bellion’s 2014 mixtape The Definiton in many ways. Themes such as faith, preoccupation, frustration and confidence reappear in the singer’s major label debut, expanding and letting the audience step into his mind and delve into his deepest struggles and inner battles, a bold move but not unexpected. The 25-year-old is no stranger to over-sharing in his storytelling; an endearing writing style that makes for relatable lyrics.
Throughout the album, Bellion is unafraid to step back and watch others shine in order to make sure a track reaches its full potential, bringing back old collaborators such as Luxury’s Audra Mae in “He Is The Same” and Pre-Occupied’s Blaque Keyz in “Weight of The World”, as well as introducing newbies such as vine star and pop-star in the making Alec Benjamin in “New York Soul, Pt. ii”, and also big players such as the men’s choir who sang in Michael Jackson’s “Man In The Mirror” in “Hand of God (Outro)”. The latter could be seen as foreshadowing to Bellion’s future status as a big force in the music industry, something that is still very premature to predict but completely not impossible.
The phrase “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it” could have been written about Bellion and this album. The multi-talented artist not only stayed true to his roots but developed his abilities like a Pokemon evolving into its next stage, but not its final. Bellion’s sleeve is filled with tricks and an ever-growing potential that he has probably only scraped the surface of, as shown in album’s closer “Hand of God”, an epic of sorts track that highlights songs from the album with a meticulous attention to detail and composition.
The Human Condition represents the culmination of his journey as of now, but not the final destination or his final peak, really. From the incredible artwork designed by visual artist David Ardinaryas Lojaya to the genre-bending music, The Human Condition is like a rollercoaster ride, and one that we won’t be getting off anytime soon.
The Human Condition is now available everywhere via Capitol Records and Visionary Music Group.