If there’s one thing we can thank 2016 for, it has to be its music. Jon Bellion is one of the many artists who made music an experience this year. With his first album, The Human Condition, he proved that introspection is a constructive chaos.
After a few mixtapes, some song-writing for major artists like Eminem and Jason Derulo, and some singles, Bellion released “The Human Condition” on June 10th.
Just over a month before releasing the album he came to Syracuse opening for Chance the Rapper and The Chainsmokers. Little did anyone know those three would take over 2016.
Both Chance the Rapper and The Chainsmokers are nominated for the Grammy Award for Best New Artist. Jon Bellion more than deserves to be in their company for that award, which gives me reason to deem him 2016’s most underrated artist.
At the time of the concert, Bellion released one of the album’s singles, “Guillotine”. This song proves just how organic Bellion’s music is.
In his 20-minute documentary presenting the production of the song, his passion shines through every moment and his mind constantly runs as he works with the dozen of people around him on this project. (Worth checking out.)
Before dropping the album, he released two more singles, “80s Films” and “Maybe IDK”, both different sounds but sticking to strong melodies and deep lyrics.
The 14-track album came together as an experience. No song like another, they all flow together as a story of introspection. He questions society’s norms and values. Bellion makes us take a step back to look at the world we live in, looking at what we think matters, what we shelter ourselves from and how we filter our lives. His Christian roots present many references to a connection to God and how one goes about living his life balancing faith and nature without losing hope.
His unique style meshes electronic sounds with strings and brass, pieces rap with strong vocals, and layers different messages throughout each song and the album at large.
Bellion has released one more single from the album, “All Time Low”, that reached 32nd on Billboard’s Top 100.
The album finishes with “Hand of God (Outro)” featuring a full choir singing different lines from the entire album. A unique, genius way to finish the whole piece.
For a more in-depth look at just how talented Jon Bellion truly is as “a once-in-a-generation talent”, check out EARMILK’s Album Review. Giving it a 10/10, Shane Morris compares “The Human Condition” to a Disney movie. Not the cheesy Disney Channel movies, but rather the Disney greats like “The Lion King”, “Aladdin”, and even “Frozen”. Great breakdown of an album packed with next-level ingenuity.
Bravo, Mr. Bellion. Bravo.