Jon Bellion: Simple & Sweet
It would be impossible for me to live without Jon Bellion’s music. The song Simple and Sweet captivates me because of the flawlessness of the production. The swing, creativity, and instrumentation is unique to Bellion because he isn’t afraid of exploring new structures or experimenting with different sounds.
Throughout the first two verses, this dreamy and tranquil synth loop carries the song. It creates a serene sensation attained when floating above calm water. The reverb on the synth gives the song a spacey dimension, but the echo provides an underlying beat that unites both the effects and dry sound. Even though there is no drum beat, the synth keeps the whole song in check. In addition, the range in dynamics on the synth hits elicits the groove even more. When the vocals are introduced, they add to the airiness of the song, creating a soothing, melodic background that can mainly be attributed to the reverb. However, Bellion utilizes his voice not only for vocals, but as an instrument. His signature characteristic of layering and pitching background vocals to draw out the main vocal is exemplified in this song particularly because it accompanies the synth and instrumentation flawlessly.
The first two verses are sound so simple, but the simplicity is what creates the indescribable aesthetic behind this track. The sound he extracts from the layered adlibs after the chorus is beautiful, uniting every aspect of the song. It is evident that his goal as a musician is to not only create a masterpiece, but also to evoke emotion to the point where the listener gets goosebumps and begins to relate the music to their personal experiences.
The best part of this song is the outro. Just as the listener thinks the song is over, Bellion adds in the “sweetest” breakdown, immediately switching up the vibe from the beginning. The drums make this section truly addictive to listen to. Bellion invests a great amount of time in selecting the right drum sounds because he knows that drums make or break a song. The samples chosen for this track are all natural with no 808 influence at all. In fact, Bellion creates or samples his own drums, highlighting his attention to detail and passion when it comes to production. The layered snares on the 2nd and 4th beats have different timbres, creating a conversation between both hits. This is such a small detail, but the small details differentiates the production in Simple and Sweet from other songs. The kick drums swing perfectly with one another and just having the drums as the outro would be more than enough. However, he somehow manages to pocket the drums in perfectly with the organ. The swing that the instrumentation creates compels the listener to bob their head and groove to the beat. Another part of the breakdown that speaks to Bellion’s talent is the use of his mouth to create the hi-hat track, further adding on to the unparalleled groove. His breaths in between the drums on the offbeats also builds on to the rhythm. Bring in his vocals and it becomes one epic masterpiece. The timing of his line “Don’t worry we gon take it slow” basically makes the song chug and the elongated “complicated” unifies every single sonic element in the outro. The final product is pure genius. Once again, the subtle details can make the outcome that much more cohesive.
Simple and Sweet has the x-factor that separates it from your everyday song due to the diversity in the instrumentation, vocals, and experimentation. Jon Bellion’s production on this track is absolutely ridiculous. The attention to detail really goes to exemplify how Bellion has mastered his craft as a producer and artist. Simple and Sweet is that one song that I can listen to on repeat forever and still want to hear again. Each time I jam to this track, I hear something new, and I have to piece all the parts together again. The detailed and intricate production makes me want to replay this song all day.