Jon Bellion reveals a newfound maturity and lots of growth while still maintaining his alternative pop goodness in his new record, Glory Sound Prep.Read More
2016 is still rolling by, and the albums are getting more diverse. Here's what I've listened to over the last three months (April - June) and links to the albums I've reviewed.
5-Star Albums (8.5 - 10)
- Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool - 10
- Deftones - Gore: 9.5
- Gojira - Magma: 9
- Thrice - Everywhere Is To Be Nowhere: 8.5
- Architects - All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us: 8.5
- Weezer - Weezer (White Album): 8.5
- LIGHTS - Midnight Machines: 8.5
- The Last Shadow Puppets - Everything You've Come To Expect: 8.5
- letlive. - If I'm The Devil...: 8.5
4-Star Albums (6.5 - 8)
- Beyoncé - LEMONADE: 8
- Issues - Headspace: 7.5
- Drake - Views: 7.5
- Swans - The Glowing Man : 7.5
- Meadowlark - Parraffin: 7.5
- Yeasayer - Amen & Goodbye: 7
- Against The Current - In Our Bones: 7
- Ariana Grande - Dangerous Woman: 7
- PUP - The Dream Is Over: 7
- Jon Bellion - The Human Condition: 7
- Modern Baseball - Holy Ghost - 7
- Cult Of Luna & Julie Christmas - Mariner: 7
- Death Grips - Bottomless Pit - 7
- BABYMETAL - Metal Resistance: 7
- Melt Yourself Down - Last Evenings On Earth: 7
- Dark Suns - Everchild: 7
- DJ Shadow - The Mountain Will Fall: 7
- Band Of Skulls - By Default: 7
- The Algorithm - Brute Force: 7
- Flume - Skin: 7
- Olaf Stuut - Run: 7
- Katatonia - The Fall Of Hearts: 6.5
- Nick Jonas - Last Year Was Complicated: 6.5
- Red Hot Chili Peppers - The Getaway: 6.5
3-Star Albums (4.5 - 6)
- JMSN - It Is.: 6
- FAWNN - Galaxies: 6
- Skepta - Konnichiwa: 6
- Islands - Taste: 6
- Mogwai - Atomic: 6
- Beartooth - Aggressive: 5.5
- Explosions In The Sky - The Wilderness: 5.5
- The Goo Goo Dolls - Boxes: 5.5
- Chance The Rapper - Coloring Book: 5
- Desiigner - New English: 5
2-Star Albums (2.5 - 4)
1-Star Albums (0 - 2)
Top Albums Of 2016 (so far)
- Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool
- AURORA - All My Demons Greeting Me As A Friend
- Panic! At The Disco - Death Of A Bachelor
- Deftones - Gore
- Dream Theater - The Astonishing
- Foxes - All I Need
- Daughter - Not To Disappear
- Gojira - Magma
- Thrice - To Be Everywhere Is To Be Nowhere
- Architects - All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us
Top Songs Of 2016 (so far)
- AURORA - 'Murder Song (5, 4, 3, 2, 1) (Acoustic)'
- Radiohead - 'True Love Waits'
- Deftones - 'Hearts/Wires'
- Radiohead - 'Daydreaming' *
- Panic! At The Disco - 'Emperor's New Clothes'
- Foxes - 'Better Love'
- Lacey Sturm - 'Rot'
- AURORA - 'Through The Eyes Of A Child'
- Deftones - 'Phantom Bride'
- Thrice - 'Black Honey'
If you've ever needed the feel good vibes of Disney music in your uncensored summer jams, Jon Bellion has you covered. His new album The Human Condition is full of hits and bangers ready for the thrill of summer, but lacks distinction as a full album.
This album has loads and loads of color to it. There are lots of different sounds on it and heaps of personality laced into each track. The unfortunately titled 'Maybe IDK' is the height of it, starting symphonically and kicking in to the feel good acoustic fingerpicking accompanied by strings in the verses. The choruses of this song are fantastic, big and powerful with pop strings subtly lying underneath the building beat and soaring harmonies. The song itself is very catchy and uplifting, and screams summer all over it. Lots of the vocal moments on this record are where it shines such as the song 'All Time Low', that has some cool sampled vocal parts throughout it, and the "Low, low, low" parts in the chorus are great. The hip-hop centric 'New York Soul (Pt. ii)' is an interesting one, as it begins just as you'd expect any standard pop-rap track to begin, but progresses into a darker track, becoming a more serious one than a fun-toned one. The last big banger on the record is 'Guillotine', which is just purely infectious with its gooey choruses and scatted backing harmonies.
This album isn't absent from all flaws, however. A lot of tracks lack cohesion and feel slapped together out of necessity. 'Woke The Fuck Up' is a song brought down a peg by this factor - a catchy and funky track that is brought down by its weird samples and strange transitions. 'Morning In America' has a premise that feels a bit too real to compliment the album and the tonality of the song itself. A bunch of little parts have issues, too. In 'Weight Of The World', a really cool guitar part comes in, but as energetic as it comes in it falls flat as a big moment that should follow it never comes. It almost just sits there and waits for something that will never be there. '80's Film' is similarly themed, it's 8-bit synths not seeing much accompaniment besides vocals until halfway through second verse - way too long of a wait for the song to finally start building up (a problem that 'iRobot' almost faces, too). Not to mention, that build up is just the introduction of a beat. The song's shortness doesn't justify the lack of body, and it ends too abruptly before that can be addressed.
Jon Bellion made what he set out to do - make a great album for the summer. It's the perfect soundtrack for a road trip down the coast into the sunset, or for a trip down by the beach. Without the context of summer, though, some tracks miss out on the hype. The tracks in question lose some energy as a result of being incohesive and feel like fillers as a result of laziness. It's a great album to kick back and jam to, and with summer break just around the corner (or already here, for some), a new addition to your playlists has just arrived with the release of The Human Condition.
Favorite Tracks: Maybe IDK, Guillotine, All Time Low
Least Favorite Tracks: Morning In America, Overwhelming