March 24, Into the Rush by Aly & A.j.
Genre: Soft rock with a folk influence
Total tracks: 14, including two covers.
Songs you might know:
– “No One”
– “Do You Believe in Magic”
– “Walking on Sunshine”
My prior relationship with this album: I’m relatively confident that this is actually THE first physical cd I ever bought with my own money. Much like Insomniac, I played the hell out of it, largely because I didn’t have any other cds. The music was kid friendly, but just mature enough to make me feel superior to kids who were listening to more pop-based kid friendly music.
My impressions this time around: To be honest, Into the Rush doesn’t hold up the same way Insomniatic does. As I’ve matured I’ve realized how simplistic some of the songwriting here is. For better or worse, you can tell that most of this album was written by inexperienced teenagers. Many of the songs repeat the chorus over and over again and the verses are only 3-4 lines each. I just get the impression that I’m listening to songs that were slapped together in a hurry, as opposed to something like “Turn” from that Wombats album which feels like every line was meticulously written and re-written until it was good.
That being said, there are some songs that still hold up. “Sticks and Stones” was my favorite back in the day, and it still does a great job of balancing vulnerability with empowerment. “I Am One of Them” tackles the difficult topic of child kidnappings. This was never one of my favorites when I was younger, but it does have slightly more intricate lyrics and composition and I hadn’t given it the credit it deserves in the past.
Overall, Into the Rush has enough good qualities to be decent, and I’ll certainly always have a special place in my heart for it. But it’s also not something I would ever recommend to adults now, nor anything I’ll go out of my way to listen to again.
Who would enjoy it? People who are tired of the more sexual themes that are pervasive in most mainstream music genres, but also don’t want anything overly manufactured or pop-oriented. This gives you some rawness with a PG rating.