“ Artist: Aly and Aj / Audio CD released 2007-10-22 at Angel „
I can honestly say that I have no idea why I came across this Californian duo. For some irregular reason, I can remember I was watching the ridiculous American disaster known as 'My Super Sweet 16'. I simply do not know what came over me, so please do not hold this against me, I am open to repent my sins. For those who have been blessed with no knowledge of this show, it is basically a documentary about Americas most spoiled children as they spend literally thousands of dollars on parties for their sixteenth birthday. Each of the tantrum fuelled acne advertisements always get what they want, with money never being an option, due to their mega rich parents. Due to its repeated playing on MTV, I do wonder if it is just me, but surely not, it's pathetic!
Anyway, the episode I happened to catch featured a song from a rather pleasant sounding teenage voice, followed by another, singing a song which, for me, I was quite amazed that I like. With some of my favourite bands including The Prodigy, Pendulum, Maximo Park, Avenged Sevenfold, and No Doubt, not for one minute did I think I could be entertained by such a duo of teenage sisters.
I decided that miracles do happen, so checked out their Wikipedia page and was amazed to see that, at the time, they had released three albums! I certainly had never heard of them, and neither had any of my friends, most of whom still do not know of them. I was therefore not surprised to see that I had to request dooyoo make this a reviewable product, but I wanted to make it available, so I could write and hopefully spread the magic of what I heard.
I got the album a few days after I heard them, as I felt this was the best way to reach a sufficient analysis, and having already listened to and enjoyed a couple of songs from youtube, I thought it would be money well spent. It was.
At nearly 43 minutes, it is an averaged size album, but each of the songs brings something to the disc, and collectively, is a really good production that I find myself listening to quite a lot.
The first song is a pop tune with an interesting backing. Potential Break Up Song is arguably their most famous song which is worthy of such a role. Intelligent drum work makes for an exciting backing which can be followed throughout, and the voices can be heard as instruments rather than just noises. It is a lively and upbeat song that will get you going and eagerly anticipating the rest of the album. I like the chorus, but love the verses, as they seem to offer an aspect not often seen in pop, almost rock sounding if you will.
Bullseye has a great opening with guitar and voice only. Actually, looking back, this is quite a rock sounding tune, and although their voices send this to the pop category, it could be enjoyed by people who usually find themselves listening to rock music. Again, I enjoy the fast pace of the song, and also the addition of the break shortly after half way. For a few bars, the lines are repeated in a talking tone, and followed by more heavy guitar work, both of which seem to contrast yet actually make for a great song.
Closure is a tune which is a little more down to earth. This is what you would see as a light pop song, though it does have some excellently catchy lyrics throughout. The music does not blow me away, nor does the way they offer their singing talents, but you seriously will have the lyrics stuck in your head for days after hearing. A particular favourite line of mine is 'I used to wear your shirt to bed, but now it's in the trash instead', don't know why, it just seems to amuse me in some way. Strange that.
Division, or ÷, to give it its proper title, is sadly not one of the greatest songs to come from the girls. Far too slow for my liking, it does not have the astonishment of lyrical genius to pull the song up from the bargain buckets. I guess most albums have one track which is enjoyed less than the others, so it seems that this is such song.
Like it or Leave it has a very catchy and bouncy opening that I enjoy rather much. Fast paced, and electric, I would say I am entertained by a track of this quality, especially as it hosts a brilliant chorus, which is one of the greatest pop choruses around. I think one of the reasons I love this track is that you cannot help yourself from 'bouncing' to it, no matter where you are! After about 2 minutes, the girls seem to sing in hyper speed, no - not in a rave way, but just very quickly, which is a great addition to the song and helps offer a different angle from the piece.
Like Whoa is a song I find myself not bowled over by. Too slow for any brilliance really, to begin with, it is not greeted with the same quality of chorus that could have rescued it somewhat. I like the interesting sounding electronic feel to the music, but that is about it really.
Insomniatic, the title track, is slow, yet I find myself under enjoyment from it. I love the guitar participant, and though slowly sung, the lyrics are quite entertaining. This is not a song I would recommend as one to introduce the sisters to somebody, but is a great little number for those who have already decided they enjoy the music by them.
Silence, starts with an interesting sound that reminds me of O.M.D or A-Ha, musically anyway. When the singing is introduced, I can hear some strange sounds, which remind me of something a whale would listen to, and the singing has not a lot of backing throughout, probably having something to do with the name of the track. It's a good addition to counter balance the fast paced music of some of the other songs on the album. I think it could lend itself to being classed as a relaxing tune if ever there was one.
Talented yes, but not my favourite by any means.
If I could Have You Back brings back the upbeat rockiness sounding music we heard towards the start of the album. I like the music, and love the lyrics. This is one of the songs which display the girls' singing talents. Again, I find myself readily admiring the chorus, which is obviously not a bad thing. I enjoy how it seems to have almost an electronic feel to the voices, great song!
Flattery. Not the most played song on my iPod, but skilful in its own right. Not one of my sacred few songs, but this rendition would be liked by somebody who enjoys depth and meaning to lyrical content.
I'm Here, has a relaxing, slow piano played opening, which (bar the bonus track) ends the album in style and etiquette. Rather like the above song, in the way that it shows no speedy pace, or heavy instrumentals, sadly which, are two of the main things I look for. A song you will enjoy if you prefer the above over some of the others.
My version of the album ended with track 12, and a remix of the song called Chemicals React. This just happens to be a fantastic masterpiece, and definitely one of the better songs to come from these two teenagers. I generally love the music, and the lyrics, both of which are of high quality and go together like nothing else! Very fast paced and electric, it adds a few ounces of rock, and mixes them with good pop, before twirling them together to introduce some brilliantly talented voices. A fantastic way to end the album!
Should you get this far into the review, you will undoubtedly feel my bias towards the greatness of this whole album, and I am not just saying it for the sake of speech (and typing skills). I really do feel it is a great album, and can be enjoyed by an open mind, as long as you give it a fair chance.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Potential Breakup Song
5 Like It Or Leave It
6 Like Whoa
9 If I Could Have You Back
11 I'm Here
12 Chemicals React