Singer-songwriter and record producer Jon Bellion continues to be an outlier in the world of pop. He released his second album, Glory Sound Prep, on Friday, two years after the release of his 2016 hit album The Human Condition. Despite the time gap and listeners’ high expectations, the “All Time Low” singer continues to shine.
Bellion continues to blur the line between genres, drawing from R&B, hip-hop, rock and pop influences. Unlike many popular artists, he’s a genuine lyricist who writes beyond common, superficial subjects.
Glory Sound Prep is Bellion’s lyrical journal, documenting conversations he has with himself. He explores the success he experienced following “All Time Low” as well as other, more personal accomplishments and his recent marriage.
Bellion’s raspy voice shines in the beginning moments of the album as the first song, “Conversations with my Wife,” begins. Listeners are immediately reminded what they were missing for the last two years in Bellion’s absence.
“Who the f— cares about these plaques on my wall?/ You’re still the only thing I’ve done right,” he sings on the album’s opener.
Bellion’s sincerity drives this track and the rest of the album alike. Glory Sound Prep is a work that only he could make, thanks to his rare sound. On “Let’s Begin,” Roc Marciano’s rap flow meets Bellion’s similarly-influenced lyrics, as well as RZA, B.Keyz and Travis Mendes, who are also featured. R&B and hip hop flow with a melodic violin on the track.
Even Bellion’s most casual followers know his distaste for the superficial elements of fame and the shallowness that is pervasive in the music industry. He continues to be outspoken about both on Glory Sound Prep, emphasizing his conviction that music should drive the industry.
“Why has life become a plan, to put some money in my hand?/ When the love I really need is stupid cheap, stupid cheap,” Bellion sings on “Stupid Deep,” the fourth track.
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When many artists attempt to create an album like Glory Sound Prep where they reveal their insecurities and struggles, they usually fail to share anything below surface-level. Bellion does not fall victim to this trend of insincerity, as he bares real troubles in his life.
Most notable is the album’s final song, “Mah’s Joint,” featuring Quincy Jones. Bellion describes the hardships his mother faced while caring for his grandmother, who suffered from a degenerative brain disease. Ending with a song like this one only strengthens him as an antithesis of the music industry.
While some of his contemporaries become more disingenuous and uniform, the Long Island native sticks to his roots as he crafts work that mentions everything from his family to his hometown railroad.