(4 / 5)
Jon Bellion might be new to the masses for his vocal abilities, but I’m sure you’ve heard at least some of the records he has written for numerous artist. The New York native is known for penning, co-writing and producing records including “Trumpets” by Jason Derulo and the Billboard Hot 100 #1 hit “Monster” by Eminem featuring Rihanna. Prior to the release of his debut album, The Human Condition, Jon Bellion released various mixtapes. Jon is following a path blazed by many before him, who worked behind the scenes either writing and/or producing for others before stepping into the spotlight. The Human Condition is a blend of hip hop, alternative r&b and pop rock. The entire album is self produced with the exception of the track, “Fashion”. The Human Condition isn’t entirely different from music that is out today in that, “r&b singers/artist are conforming to hip-hop in their music by singing rap lyrics with melodies” and vice versa. We’ve seen it happen with similar artist including Mike Stud.
Make no mistake, Jon is a talented guy with respectable emcee skills, but his singing abilities far outweigh his rhyming skills. There is something about his vocal abilities that make you gravitate towards those songs. The Human Condition is as much about Jon letting the world see his musical capabilities as it is about us getting a peak into his psyche. Evan after all the success, Jon is still a humble guy that represents for the city he loves. This is evident on tracks like “He is the Same” and “New York Soul Part II”. Even with millions of dollars in the bank and the numerous hits he has written for other artist, it hasn’t all gone to his head. His family still keeps him in check especially given the fact that his sister is his best friend. Humility is vary much a part of who he is.
Tracks like “80’s Films” and “Guillotine” show his abilities with production and are just all around fun. Much as the name implies “80’s Films” is a bit of a nostalgia trip as it plants you right into your favorite soundtrack of the 80s. It is a track that can be enjoyed by those who actually lived during the decade and individuals that appreciate the fun and uniqueness of the 80s. “Guillotine” is by far my favorite track on the album. It presents a sound you don’t typically hear on a lot of albums and reminds me of Bastille’s, “Icarus”. It has that same dark eerie tone, but blends nicely with the percussions. It’s just a really catchy song, that will have you humming the chorus long after you’ve stopped listening to the track.
The Human Condition is a positive start for a really talented guy. It is an overall enjoyable album from a man who has already proven he has what it takes to be successful in music. While hip hop is part of his array of talents, his vocal ability will get him much further than his rhyming skills.
Purchase The Human Condition on Itunes