When you mention to someone in the UK that you are a fan of Aly & AJ, you tend to get a puzzled response. Play them a clip of ‘Potential Breakup Song’ and they’ll instantly remember one of the biggest bops of 2007. While the girls have certainly become recognisable in the UK for their acting endeavours (The Goldbergs, iZombie and my personal favourite – Easy A), it’s not quite clicked for them here music wise. But could that be all about to change with brand new single ‘Take Me’?
It’s been ten years since Aly and AJ last released an album so it feels like this single has been a long time coming. And while I absolutely loved ‘Hothouse’ and the album that never came to be, ‘Take Me’ with it’s eighties inspired glitzy pop vibe fits the girls like a glove. It takes elements from all of their previous albums – the hard hitting pop from their debut album ‘Into The Rush’, the sublime production values from ‘Insomniatic’ and the stunning harmonies from ‘Hothouse’ and merges it all into one super pop song. Remember when the Power Ranger used to merge their zords to make a super-zord? This is basically that. My favourite part of the song is absolutely the vocal delivery. The reason why I stan Aly and AJ are for the stunning harmonies and they don’t disappoint here. If you’re a fan of Carly Rae Jepsen or HAIM then you are going to love this track as much as I do.
To celebrate the return of my queens and their impending take over of the world of pop, I’d thought I’d count down my favourite tracks from them.
01. Never Far Behind
This was actually the first Aly and AJ track that I ever heard. I was about seventeen years old and I used to spend hours scouring Amazon looking for new music and their debut album ‘Into The Rush’ came up as a suggestion. 2005 was when pop/rock was at it’s peak and ‘Never Far Behind’ was played non-stop back then. I love the message of the song – providing support, friendship and being there for people that you care about. It’s a strong and positive message and something we need a lot more of in pop music.
02. Potential Breakup Song
As if this wasn’t going to be in my countdown. I remember seeing the music video for the first time on MTV Hits. The girls biggest hit in the UK (#17), this was inescapable at the time and it still never gets old. It’s pure unfiltered pop but what really sells it is the vocal colours of Aly and AJ. They really show their ranges throughout the track which helps elevate the song into pure pop perfection.
2007 was a really big year for me. My grandfather had been diagnosed with lung cancer and was receiving treatment in Glasgow. This meant that my parents were away most nights travelling to Glasgow to visit and I would be at home with the dog. It was quite a sad time but the girls ‘Insomniatic’ album got me through it and in particular the track ‘Flattery’. There are just some songs that you connect with on another level and the emotion in the girls vocals really just touched me in a way that the other songs didn’t.
Their entire ‘Insomniatic’ album is a very important to me. It’s not all sad though, I also met my husband in 2007 and we used to listen to this album constantly so this album and this song in particular remind me of those times – both good and bad.
Released back in 2013, it still makes me mad that ‘Hothouse’ never took off and the album was shelved. Hothouse is one of those songs that when it comes on shuffle, I end up replaying the song again and again. The production is so intricate and the harmonies are so tight, I feel like there is always something new to hear with every play. This is a perfect song to listen to while out in the Summer sunshine.
05. Fifteen And A Half
What’s this I hear you say? What album is this song from? ‘Fifteen And A Half’ is from the girls unreleased 3rd album which Hothouse belonged to. I couldn’t not include this track in my list as it’s just too beautiful to ignore. A gorgeous sweeping ballad, Fifteen and a Half is just so simple, almost ethereal in a way. I feel like I’m in a dream whenever I listen to it. The harmonies are like slick and like Hothouse, the production is so intricate – it’s just perfection.
I cannot describe how good it is to finally have new Aly and AJ music again. Take Me is a fantastic addition to their already iconic discography, I can’t wait to hear what comes next.