Into the Rush
- reviewed by Andree Farias Copyright Christianity Today International
- 2005 1 Aug
- No One
- Something More
- On the Ride
- Speak for Myself
- Out of the Blue
- In a Second
- I Am One of Them
- Sticks and Stones
- Protecting Me
- Slow Down
- Do You Believe in Magic
- Walking on Sunshine
- Never Far Behind
Christian label giant EMI CMG Distribution and tween music front-runner Walt Disney Records recently forged a partnership that allows select Disney titles to be distributed to the Christian marketplace. This venture includes
The siblings—born Alyson and Amanda Joy Michalka, and both Christians—first developed a love for music at a very early age, both playing piano since the age of six. Now they also play guitar, their instrument of choice for writing the songs on this breezy, uncomplicated debut. That's right, 16-year-old Aly and 14-year-old AJ wrote the bulk of
Not that Duff really needs a Christian alternative, with songs that are generally clean, innocent, and bright-eyed, avoiding the sexual overtones and come-ons of teen-pop veterans Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. Cleanliness and innocence, however, do not necessarily mean an alignment with Christian values or evangelical principles, which immediately disqualifies Duff from being a spiritual authority.
Unfortunately, this is also true of the new disc by Aly & AJ, an album that's musically comparable to Duff, but lacking in substantive spiritual fiber. In the song "In a Second," the duo sings, "You're all the things I'm looking for/Everything and so much more? You are just perfect," but who are they singing to? God? A boy? Their parents? It's hard to tell. "No One"—which sounds remarkably similar to Avril Lavigne's "I'm With You"—is pensive and self-reflective, but it looks for answers within, instead of without or above.
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").
And then there are the two covers. Disney has a knack for having its pint-sized stars re-record classic singles, and Aly & AJ are more than up to the task. 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. Both are good and fun, but not particularly innovative or creative either.
All the above make it difficult to heartily recommend