Logo for Byte Magazine at Ball State University

AJ Mitchell drops second album teaser ‘STOP’

By Conner Tighe Artist AJ Mitchell dropped his next teaser for his upcoming album Skyview, a music project inspired by the Skyview Drive-In in his hometown Belleville, IL. “STOP” is relatively similar to “Camera’s On” in vocals and presentation; however, the message is on the opposite end of the spectrum. The latest single takes the spotlight away from Mitchell’s inner struggles and taps into his personal desires. However, despite the amazing quality of his recent music, his tracks are beginning to blend together as fans— myself included— impatiently wait for Skyview. This album is something the artist has been discussing with the media since 2019.   Mitchell’s latest single is electric, fun, and solidifies the young artist’s rise to pop stardom. Taking place after his previous single “Camera’s On,” “STOP” continues Mitchell’s story of fame, this time focusing on his passions and inspirations. 

“When you listen to the album, I want you to feel nostalgic. It really takes me home. At the same time, I want you to know more about who I am. Talking to the camera is unnatural for me. The best way for everybody to understand me is through my songs. I’m still just a kid who lives his life through music. There’s not a single day I don’t think about it or don’t want to run to my guitar, my piano, or my notepad and start writing,” said Mitchell in a recent press release personally sent to me by his publicist. 

This is what matters

Anyone who pays attention to the artist’s social media pages knows music means everything to him. The single’s title says it all; Mitchell doesn’t want to stop. Producing and creating music is what Mitchell was made for, and he’s going to put in the work to get where he wants to be. Where his earlier works like “Slow Dance” and “Used to Be” focused on teenage love and the struggles we’re all too familiar with, “STOP” and “Camera’s On” are providing vulnerability and personalization to who Mitchell is.
Why are we rushing?/Maybe we could take our time/My arms are open/Even if the sun comes up/Yeah, I don't wanna lose this feeling
Neither of the two songs are as well performed as his recent collaboration with Cheat Codes on “Hate You + Love You.” But none of the singer's work has ever sunk to the bottom. The piano is sacred to the artist as many of his songs are accompanied by the keys. “STOP” is one of the first singles to not feature a piano, instead, using drums and electric beats. Because of this, the song differs from other tracks but doesn’t make it worse either. The single is just a different vibe. “STOP” feels less personal and more business-like. It seems Mitchell doesn’t want all his music to be tear-jerkers.

Losing steam

Skyview will perhaps be the biggest breakthrough of Mitchell’s career. But, how far can the artist stretch that statement? Mitchell has been teasing the upcoming album for months, years if you want to be technical but all the same, too long. Don’t get me wrong, Mitchell’s releases this year have been killer, and he’s showing no signs of stopping his craft, but at what time does someone break that angst? It’s been more than enough time for the artist to release Skyview. Mitchell is beginning to diversify his sound, and for that, I praise him. His vocals never fail to impress, and “STOP” is no different. He’s always been an artist to produce catchy, club-sounding music, sometimes with some slow-paced heartfelt hits. His vulnerability is what makes him worth seeking out for a listen.

Recommended if you like:

Hailee Steinfeld Greyson Chance Jesse McCartney
Sources: Byte (Q+A), Byte (Review), Don't Bore Us, Vol 1 Records, Instagram, Metro Featured Image: Genius