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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 and whatever other medium will have them, sending a pair of tight-harmonizing teen queens into the studio to take on the world together makes a certain sort of business sense. Never mind, for a moment, that it's the kind that generally turns the stomach of music snobs, because the girls appointed to the task--Aly & AJ (full names: Alyson and Amanda Joy Michalka)--display genuine vocal talent. Aly, the star of the Disney Channel's Phil of the Future and AJ, a sometime presence on shows such as Six Feet Under and General Hospital, already lit up the soundtrack to Now You See It (a Disney Channel Movie) with their rendition of the '60s chestnut "Do You Believe in Magic," and Into the Rush arrives as solid reinforcement. Leadoff track "Rush" pelts listeners with a feel-good, sweet-sounding salvo on keeping it real, "Speak for Myself" aims itself insouciantly at stifling parents, and "I Am One of Them" takes down the self-importance factor a notch by addressing the issue of missing children. That all these songs save the last two ("Do You Believe In Magic" and another can't-miss '60s fave, "Walking On Sunshine") were written by Aly & AJ bodes well for them--Hilary Duff started writing and singing at Hollywood Records, too. --Tammy La Gorce
The energy and spirit the sisters Aly & AJ's bring to their music colors the entire album Into The Rush. Aly and AJ worked with a variety of producers on Into The Rush including some of the music industry's biggest. "We've learned a lot from all of them," says Aly of the producers. "Some things we like...some things we don't like. It's all a part of the process. It's important that we have our own voice and that our emotions are a part of all of our music. This is why we're working with different producers, so that we can experience different ideas."
Their first single may have been the classic cover "Do You Believe In Magic," but the sisters have written all of the songs on this. And though they may be young teens, when it comes to writing songs, they aim high. "We want our songs to be fun, but we also want to write about deeper issues that make people think and issues that we can all relate to in one way or another," says AJ.
Aly and AJ's song "I Am One of Them" tackles the tough subject of child kidnappings. They want to bring awareness by encouraging kids to look out for one another and use precautions and safety measures to empower them. AJ contributed a track called "Protecting Me," a song featured in a "Phil of the Future" episode, which addresses the vulnerable nature of being a kid today. Says Aly: "We want to let kids know they have the power to protect themselves and one another." Aly and AJ have also written songs that address the issues of relationships, heartaches, staying true to yourself and celebrating your own uniqueness.
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