John Bellion doesn’t release an album too often, so when he does it’s a big deal. I found out about Jon through Logic’s song titled “Welcome to Forever” and absolutely loves his last album, The Human Condition. This Time round Bellion has accepted your place into Glory Sound Prep and your lessons start immediately.
Jon was very cryptic in the run up to his new project. We knew something was on the way but we didn’t know what. A fake Acceptance letter signed by Headmaster Stormzy appeared on twitter and fans of Bellion started to go mad. It could only mean one thing, A new Album. Now the album is out and after having a few listens through and letting it sink in. I’m ready to give my opinion. I’ve split this into two parts so I can talk about each song in more detail.
Let’s start off with the album cover. It’s majestic, imposing but also welcoming at the same time. Many have compared it to something out of a Pixar movie and it’s not hard to see where they are coming from.
What I enjoy about Bellion’s music is you tend to find instruments and sounds you don’t see too often. The album starts with “Conversations with my Wife” and it’s a perfect intro. Right from the start Jon lets us know that he isn’t in this for the fame, the followers or the money but instead the love of creating music. The song itself is a sequel to “To My Future Wife” after getting married and it speaks about how he wants her to love him for more than just his music and status. As per usual with Jon the production is next level, there is such a mix of sounds that sound so different but also sound so familiar at the same time. Being a rapper as well as a singer, he can use the lyrics and metaphors that you would find in conventional hip hop and give them a new life. It’s a very nice sounding intro and a great start to the album.
JT, which I am assuming is short for John Travolta, is much more upbeat and has a certain vibrancy to it. I’m not sure if this album is meant to be futuristic at all or just fantasy but we get the return of the little “bleeps and bloops” that make this feel very similar to his work on The Human Condition. If you like this song you’ll like that album. I definitely prefer the chorus/hook to this song more than the verses, they are nice to listen to and have a certain positive atmosphere about them however I don’t feel the way Bellion delivers the lyrics does it for me. The energy in the chorus is great and It’s very enjoyable, I’m not saying it’s bad because it really isn’t, just not outstanding.
Being a Hip Hop superfan, the next song really does it for me. Let’s Begin is the first song on the album that we haven’t heard before so it’s an appropriate name for the track. I love it when Jon raps and wish he would do it more often. I’m not sure what it’s called but the distorted rumbling keyboard is something I really do think sounds great. It worked well in conversations and it works well here. I feel the beginning Violin section is hit or miss, I enjoy it but I feel it didn’t need to be as long as it was. In a nutshell Lets Begin starts off slowly but once it’s going it’s a real banger with off-the-chain production.
“Stupid Deep” doesn’t work for me. Jon’s voice is still incredible, the production later on in the song is of a very high quality, but I personally do not like the weird squeaking noise in the first half. To me it just doesn’t sound right, everything else about the song feels great but as it’s so isolated when it happens it ruins what would have been a fantastic ballad-style song for Jon. I appreciate that Bellion is experimenting with new sounds and most of the time they work however in my opinion I feel this doesn’t. It’s the song I have come back to the least on the Album.
“The internet” is a massive U-turn for me, there is nothing about this song I dislike. The bouncing drums and melody mixed with those horns is just joy to the ears. This is the Jon I love, all over the place production with hundreds of different sounds. The song itself brings up an interesting point under all the jazzy sounds though. He explains the way the internet works and how no one cares about true happiness online but instead how you’re perceived through what you post. The line “No one cares that you have it, just as long as they think you do” really sums up the whole point of the song. You can tell that Jon believes you are either happy with yourself and don’t share it with the world, or the so-called amazing life you live is just a facade for social media. I really dig this song, you can listen to it and take in the lyrics or you can just enjoy how incredible it sounds. Well done Jon my favourite song so far.