Reviews

Aly & AJ “With Love From” Album Review

With Love From – Single

Aly & AJ

  • Genre: Alternative
  • Date: 02 Nov, 2022
  • Content: Not-explicit
  • Region: NGA
  • Track(s): 1
  • ℗ 2022 Aly & AJ Music, LLC
Aly &Amp; Aj &Quot;With Love From&Quot; Album Review, Yours Truly, Reviews, February 24, 2024
People

Allison (Aly) & Amanda (AJ) Joy Michalka, the former Disney stars who are now independent musicians, have released a new album in which they recount their journey across the United States in the context of a dreamy and electric ’70s landscape across the sun-kissed desert. The Duo’s album, “With Love From,” demonstrates their ability to transform their signature indie-pop sound into a throwback to when rock stars gave somber confessionals about yearning for love or finding life by staying up all night on a tour bus crossing the country.

Album Art

Aly &Amp; Aj &Quot;With Love From&Quot; Album Review, Yours Truly, Reviews, February 24, 2024

The Duo can be seen posing for the camera with their hands joined against what appears to be a backdrop and outfit inspired by the 1990s. One poses with a hat, and the other holds a ribbon. Their friendly demeanor and the faint smile on their lips as they stand in front of the wooded backdrop suggest a good time full of memories as the mild breeze ruffles their hair across their faces. The couple’s chemistry in this picture is enough to convey the “love” they both share.

Tracks and Features

On the 11-track album, which is more elegant and folky Americana-inspired, the sisters sound more vital than they ever have as a duo as they let go of ’80s style-synth production to let their voices breathe. “Open to Something, and That Something Is You,” a country-influenced song merely serves as the album’s opening tune—the perfect love song, filled with longing, passion, and an open heart to romance. The Duo’s folk song “After Hours” is about the idle time that comes with staying up late while living the nomadic life of a musician.

The sisters take a softer approach in “Blue Dress,” singing close to their microphones while crooning how much they miss and dream about their boyfriend. Aly & AJ sing, “I don’t care who you’ve been kissing/Cause I’ve been doing some kissing too/I just care that you get here,”

In “Sunchoke,” one of the album’s standout songs, the sisters sing from a place of assurance and self-assurance: “I’m on the run/I’m so mad at myself that I could choke the sun/I feel the heat and it’s burning up the soles of my feet.” The song is grounded in hearty acoustic guitars, sweeping drums, and breathy vocals.

The minimal tracks “Baby Lay Your Head Down” and “6 Months of Staring Into the Sun” are used to end “With Love From.” The second song is a five-minute ballad with piano accompaniment about a romantic road trip through California: it opens with “Boots on the dashboard, laughing at nothing/You’re all I need, but we’re running on empty.” The sisters repeat “All that I need” until the metaphorical car they are driving in glides into the sunset as the song explodes with drums and electric guitar in the last minute, perfectly summarizing the end of a more subdued album from the Duo that allowed them to compose music to a larger bright and loving cinematic narrative.

Tracklist

NO TITLE TIME
1 Open to Something and That Something Is You 3:24
2 With Love From 3:59
3 After Hours 2:56
4 Blue Dress 4:08
5 Love You This Way 3:11
6 Way of Nature Way of Grace (feat. Joy Oladokun) 4:00
7 Tear the Night Up 3:27
8 Sunchoke 3:23
9 Talking in My Sleep 2:50
10 Baby Lay Your Head Down 3:44
11 6 Months of Staring Into the Sun 5:10

Album Summary

The songs on With Love From are arranged like photographs on a canvas, each capturing a unique life moment and the deep emotions accompanying it—bouts of despair and moments of hope and ecstatic and exhausted moments alternated. Although the lyrics may appear straightforward, they make the themes much more potent because listeners will only recall the key details and feelings of memorable life situations at the time. Sticking with the Americana/folk influences evident in the final few songs of their previous album works well for Aly & AJ. It gives the music a cheery, airy feel and lessens the tension in some heavier tracks. But, of course, the album wouldn’t be complete without a few indie-pop bops, which they manage to cram into just enough room.

Stream

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