Can we all agree that life has been hectic lately? Moving at a fast pace, go there, move here, and drive this far, yadda yadda yadda. Can we also agree that it can slow down a little?
BJ the Chicago Kid is the solution to this problem. Bryan James Sledge was born in Chicago and started in a church choir and later worked his way up through backing up singers, writing for others, appearing on other songs, and finally releasing mixtapes from 2009-2011. BJ released his first studio album in 2012, which brings us to our next topic and point of this article, his February 2016 release: In My Mind.
To me the most important album in an artist/band’s career is their second studio release. I want to see if they can grow AND not only support their talent but also let that talent flourish. To me, BJ nails that part of his career. In My Mind is beautifully written and offers a remedy to life’s fast pace. On the first listen through some songs can take a bit to sink in, but once more plays take course, they’re in; “The Resume” and “Turnin’ Me Up” are examples. Then come the powerhouses of “Shine”, “Wait Til The Morning”, and (my favorite off the album) “Heart Crush”. These songs hit an R&B lover’s heart directly in the center and offers that chilling effect on first listen through. The lyrics are meaningful and shine (pun intended) light on BJ’s life.
The songs make up the album but what sells the album is the theme, church. BJ dives into his roots, pulling the listeners with him, and shows us his church choir start. “Jeremiah/World Needs More Love” showcases this the most (not to mention there is a song called “Church”), but the entire album has a church theme and that is why I love it, the cohesion is remarkable and ties it together beautifully. Please take the time and listen to the album multiple times and I promise not only is it the perfect album to relax too but it slows down life for at least an hour if not more.