Jon Bellion’s new album impresses with variety

Isabel Tuisl, Website/Social Media co-editor

Jon Bellion, an American singer, songwriter, rapper and record producer released his album “Glory Sound Prep” on Nov. 9. Two and a half years after the release of his first studio album, “The Human Condition,” Jon released his new album to his already acquired audience as a result of his hit “All Time Low” from the initial album.

The artist kicked off the album with his single “Conversations with my Wife,” released on Oct. 19, over a year and two months after his last piece, a single called “Obsession.” “Conversations with my Wife” kicked off the album with Bellion’s original style of music, Hip Hop and R&B, while still managing to sound fresh and different than his last album. Continuing with the same central themes Bellion used in his last album, this opening single to the album describes his issues with technology and our modern, media-centered world: “Will you love me when my phone turns off/I don’t want to be some digital Jesus/No more followers, we’ll both get lost/When it’s me and you inside real life,” making his music and him as an artist more intriguing due to his different opinions than other famous musicians today. Overall, “Conversations with my Wife” was a suitable first single for Bellion to release because it grabs the attention of listeners with the intense build-up to the chorus, catchy melody and compelling lyrics in the bridge: “They’ll say that I fell off, and it’s alright/(They’ll say that I fell off, and it’s alright)/I’m so ready to run from the spotlight.” The other song on the album that ties into the idea of being anti-social media is “The Internet.”

Along with Bellion’s protesting of an overuse of technology, he also references God and religion in a lot of his songs. In “JT” he states: “Too many coincidences and instances of God’s hand, it’s insane/I thought my way to greatness/I could claim this, but He gave me the brain.” “Conversations with my Wife,” “Let’s Begin,” “Blu,” “Adult Swim,” “Cautionary Tales” and “Mah’s Joint” also all discuss or just reference God. Fortunately most of the songs are not about the cliche topic of love. The pieces that are about love depict it in a heartfelt, uncommon but beautiful way.

The debut album consists of 10 songs, three of which feature other artists that compliment each song well. Although Bellion raps himself, he adds diversity to his music with a variety of voices and people you wouldn’t normally hear in any songs on the radio. However this does not mean that this album is not radio material. His most pop-sounding songs on the album include “The Internet” and “Couples Retreat.”

Nowadays when people hear the word ‘rap,’ they tend to think of hard to understand, meaningless, wordy and sometimes even offensive music with a basic beat sustained throughout the whole song. While Bellion is labeled as a rap artist, his style of rap falls more into the Hip Hop category, his meaningful lyrics mixed with fluid tunes that balance out the stream of words. His beats are unique and include almost sound effect-like noises in the background of his songs that accent them well.

Just like any album, this one took a few listens for me to truly take in the lyrics and decide my opinions on the songs. Ultimately I would say that “The Human Condition” is my favorite album out of the two studio albums Bellion has released, but that could always change as I continue to listen to “Glory Sound Prep.” It did not completely live up to the standards I had placed on Bellion’s new album, as his first album is one of my all-time favorites. However a lot of the songs have a very appealing sound to me and I plan on attending his concert in Chicago on July 27 as part of his “The Glory Sound Prep Tour” beginning June 12 in Philadelphia, PA.