Into the Rush

Studio Album by released in 2005

Into the Rush review

Aly & AJ Michalka released their debut album in 2005

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, they also landed acting and modeling gigs, which prepared them to pursue both careers more seriously once the family returned to southern California. Disney starlets nowadays maintain simultaneous acting and singing careers, as Aly currently co-stars in the Disney Channel series Phil of the Future, and her sister AJ has occupied a number of guest-star roles in different major network shows. But that isn't the girls' first passion. Aly & AJ Michalka released their debut album in 2005. Here the girls' charming vocals are backed by melodic, guitar-driven rock, making Into the Rush a sure favorite for fans of other actor/performers like Hilary Duff and Lindsay Lohan.

Into the Rush will most likely be a success

Dark opener Rush is essentially a motivational number about leaving one's past behind, while Speak for Myself is an anthem for teens who have a hard time standing out in a crowd. Other topics covered include teen romance (Something More), girl power (Sticks and Stones), the importance of parents (Protecting Me), the plight of missing kids (I'm One of Them), and relationships gone wrong (Collapsed and Slow Down). On the Ride is musically reminiscent of Natalie Grant's Live For Today. And then there are the two covers. Smartly stacked at the tail-end of the disc – perhaps to display the duo's budding writing chops front and center – they serve up bright covers of the Lovin' Spoonful's 1965 hit Do You Believe in Magic and a brassy remake of Walkin' on Sunshine by '80s pop group Katrina & the Waves. Given the huge popularity of "teen pop" at the moment, Into the Rush will most likely be a success.

The energy and spirit the sisters Aly & AJ's bring to their music colors the entire album

You don't have to have a sister to score a hit on the pop charts, but sometimes it sure does help. At a time when the Simpson, Spears, Duff, and Lohan girls are steadily oozing sisterly love across teen magazine spreads, sending a pair of tight-harmonizing teen queens into the studio to take on the world together makes a certain sort of business sense. But Aly & AJ actually display genuine singing talent – 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 energy and spirit the sisters Aly & AJ's bring to their music colors the entire album Into the Rush. It is listenable, likeable, and more about being memorable than being Disney product. 16-year-old Aly and 14-year-old AJ get writing credits on every song here except the covers, which immediately places them a notch above Duff in terms of artistic ownership. But they've worked closely with a variety of producers and co-writers including some of the music industry's biggest, and that ensures that Into the Rush has the right mixture of personal touch and corporate marketability.