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Into the Rush

Aly & AJ

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Album Review

Aly & AJ are sort of a double-vision version of Hilary Duff. Like Hilary, who started out portraying the plucky Lizzie McGuire, Aly co-stars as Keely Teslow on the Disney Channel's Phil of the Future. She had her first singing success with a bubbly take on the Lovin' Spoonful's "Do You Believe in Magic" that shot to the top of the charts on Radio Disney, and with her younger sister AJ contributed to the soundtracks for the Disney films Herbie: Fully Loaded (another cover, "Walkin' on Sunshine") and Ice Princess ("No One," a melodic descendant of Avril Lavigne's "I'm with You"). In 2005 the Michalka sisters make their album debut with Into the Rush, released like Hilary's Metamorphosis through the Disney-owned Hollywood Records. All of their initial singles are here, which is nice for fans hoping to avoid buying all those soundtracks. And the rest of Rush isn't all that different. It's more ambitious than freshly scrubbed teen pop, but doesn't venture further than offering a few empowering ballads and the concise, professionally processed pop of "Collapsed" and "Something More." Aly & AJ get writing credits on every song here except the covers. But they've worked closely with a bank of producers and co-writers, and that ensures that Into the Rush has the right mixture of personal touch and corporate marketability. "All lead and background vocals sung by Aly & AJ," the liner notes read, so it's nearly impossible to tell who's who. But Aly & AJ can actually sing — their vocals have more way personality than prefab Disney hopefuls like Hayden Panettiere or Caleigh Peters — and the arrangements are slick without resorting to flashily empty pap. The sisters are lyrically limited — "I didn't know what was in store/When I walked right through the door/Then I saw you over there/Our blue eyes locked in a stare" — but what do you expect? This is music written to entertain 'tweens. It's notable then that Into the Rush is listenable, likeable, and more about being memorable than being Disney product. Smart move — Duff took a similar route on her first record, and look what happened to her.

Customer Reviews

History in the Making

Words cannot describe my feelings for this album. This album sounds amazing. 12 of the 14 songs on this album were co-written by Aly and AJ. They can sing and write songs just as well and even better than some people way beyond their years (Aly is 16 and AJ is 14... WOW!) Their on-record charisma is just astonishing, they sing their songs with all of their heart, and you can tell. This is as fresh as the pop genre can get. Fresh. Amazing. Wow.

Refreshing

"Into the Rush" is an excellent demonstration of what the pop genre can hold - "can", and rarely does. The sisters bring a refreshing tone to their music, forsaking the preppy tones typical to this genre for a much clearer, mature tone. Being the picky person that I am, there is a song or two that I don't care for as much, but their album is vastly impressive, and that is not just because of their age. To those who don't like the pop genre as a rule, this is still an extremely refreshing listen and worth the time to check. To those who enjoy the genre, this is different, but still very, very good.

Wow!

At first, I was skeptical about this album...would it be a good choice to buy? But after I listened to a few of the tracks...I was hooked. Buy it! It definitely is a great album!

Biography

Formed: Torrance, CA

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '00s

Sister acting/singing duo Aly & AJ — whose full names are Alyson and Amanda Joy Michalka — showed a passion for both kinds of performing at a very young age: they started playing piano at age six and began acting classes soon after. Born in L.A., the Michalkas moved to Seattle in the early '90s, where their parents exposed them to a wide variety of music and supported their excitement about both acting and making music. As the girls learned piano and guitar,...
Full Bio
Into the Rush, Aly & AJ
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