Discussion in 'Charts, rates etc' started by RainOnFire, Jun 16, 2020.
Silence is pure excellence.
An Aly & AJ rate and it’s being run by @RainOnFire? Maybe 2020 isn’t entirely canceled.
78violet was meant to be the self-titled fourth studio album by Aly & AJ, who rebranded themselves to 78violet in July 2009. The album, initially announced for an early 2009 release, was pushed back continuously throughout the year and into 2010. Then, in February 2010, the girls announced that the album would not be released and that they were leaving Hollywood Records.
After Insomniatic, Aly & AJ spoke about wanting to go for a "rockier" sound for their next album, and subsequently they worked with people like Rob Cavallo whose credits include working with Green Day and Paramore. However, coupled with an unsupportive A&R and an indifferent label, the album would remain unreleased. In an interview with Forbes in 2019, Aly spoke of their departure from Hollywood Records:
Although it was never officially confirmed as the first single, "The Next Worst Thing" was premiered on radio in August 2009. It only existed as a radio rip for months (remember those?) before eventually leaking in high quality.
The track was created with Rivers Cuomo, famously known as the frontman for Weezer. He spoke really positively of the experience, saying:
"The Next Worst Thing" definitely points to the rockier sound they were going for. It's pretty great, minus a few cringy lyrics – "We're running tired of manufactured Froot Loops and bubblegum"… nn. Then again, all of the Disney girls have their emancipation albums with lyrics that are similar, so I don't hold it against them!
A few more songs from the 78violet sessions have leaked throughout the years, and you can listen to a bunch of them here, so take a gander at the list and see what you like. I haven’t listened to them in ages so I’ll be doing so now, but I’ve always remembered this one in particular because it's absolutely irresistible.
2 WEEKS TO VOTE!
This "album" is lowkey my favorite thing they've ever done. Both of these are absolute jams and would snatch 10s from me.
God. I never want to ever again. A rockier sound is exactly the direction they should have gone into.
Also, how did I not know Rob Cavallo was the producer for it? No wonder it's so damn good. His work on brand new eyes is immaculate.
I will forever be pissed at Hollywood Records for not investing in them properly.
I do NOT miss the days of those radio quality leaks!
I've probably heard most of those songs as 64kbps street rips on some adware-infested MP3 site years ago, but one of these days I will sit down and listen to them all in high quality.
I know we've moved on but Silence is...kinda that song for me? My relationship with their music traces all the way back to begging my parents to drive me to Wal-Mart for the re-release of Into the Rush and them finally giving in in an effort to halt my blaring Chemicals React every time it popped up during a commercial break on Disney Channel (remember those little music video "bites" they would play?).
Fast forward and Insomniatic was a bit of a coming of age album for me in the sense that I lost my original copy, found a used one at a local store a couple years later and played the album constantly my freshman year of college. I think it's fair to say that Silence was meant to be a romantic song but I've always equated it to my relationship with my parents after I came out, particularly my relationship with my mom. Long story short I was very close to my mom growing up to the point that I was a bit blinded to just how much religion was intertwined with our relationship from her perspective and when I came out things just...disintegrated. I felt a lot of resentment my freshman year of college and Silence became a bit of a coping mechanism/cathartic listen for me. I used to play the song on loop just to get lost in that gorgeous instrumental particularly in the second half, and then I began internalizing its message. I tried to start lingering in the spaces where we wouldn't be fighting and could just be, the times when I thought maybe we were making progress and attempting to savor the opportunities where she might learn and understand my perspective. Nine years and countless visits home later and I'm finding its message more important than ever.
It's such a wonderful song.
It definitely kept me sane in many situations.
(Based on all of this feedback so far, Silence in the top 5??? I'd like to see it.)
Re-listening to the Spotify version of Insomniatic today (so sans Blush, Careful With Words or Tears) for the rate, and I don't think I spend enough time appreciating how much they snapped on this album. I don't have a single song that's scored below a 7 so far, and I've had to be quite careful with giving out 10s so I don't overload it. Not a single bad song on this record - I really should think about it as up there with my all time favourite albums more often!
This made me a little emotional. Thank you so much for sharing sis.
All of this stanning for Silence is making my day, week, month, year.
Got another round of Song's We're Not Rating for you!
It's Who You Are
Favorite Lyric: You'll know it's not how much you have. It's who you are. (It's so cheesy but I love the message.)
It's Who You Are was recorded for the Disney horse-racing movie Secretariet, and was the first solo song AJ released. I think it's obvious why we're not rating this, but I had to bring it up anyway. Because I just love this song. A lot. i know that it's a random song to love, but I'm a huge sucker for everything this is. It's got that classic Disney-esque country/pop/rock production, and cheesy as hell lyrics about what it's important is who you are, not what you have or what you can do. It's ridiculously catchy as well, and AJ sounds wonderful on it. The movie is cute, and while AJ doesn't have a huge role in the film, it's still great to see her in something, and the song plays during the end credits. I'd probably give this a 10 if we were rating it, and be upset when it inevitably left in the bottom 10.
We're An American Band
Favorite Lyric...Yeah I got nothing.
This is a cover of the song originally by Grand Funk Railroad, and was included as a bonus track on Randy Jackson's Music Club Vol. 1 album, released in 2008. I totally support it's exclusion here, as it's a cover, and a bonus track for an album I think none of us really care about, and it sounds like a demo to boot. I don't have a lot to say about it, and the only reason I'm mentioning it at all is cause it was technically officially released. It has more of a rock feel production-wise, which they would continue to explore on the shelved self-titled album, and they're sassy vocals elevate it a bit, so I'd probably give it a 7.
Favorite Lyric: Did you think she would be a better virgin than me? Yeah, I knew all along what you wanted to take. (Because damn the girls really snapped on this one. Also, "Silly boy, don't you know she's gonna make you pay?" is a bit of a moment as well, along with "I was worth so much more then I ever believed.")
Silly Boy is another song from the shelved self-titled album, and it's a BANGER. It's production is in the same vein of the pop-punk/alt. rock they explore on the rest of the songs, With crunchy, hard electric guitars, and head-bang worthy drums. I can not tell you how many times I have jammed out to this in my bedroom...and the car...and in public. I just love it so much, but I especially love the lyrics. It's clearly about a guy who cheated on one of them when they were unwilling to have sex with him, and they rightfully tear this boy apart. In a lot of their songs, I feel like they speak "as one" and this is definitely an example of that. She clearly knew from the beginning what he wanted, but set her boundaries, and he apparently acted like he understood, until he got caught. I feel like the entire song is just an example of great lyricism, for the most part, while being rather obvious in what they're referring to. I really enjoy the aggressive nature of it all, and applaud them for dragging this boy for all he's worth. Vocally, they pull it off extremely well in my opinion, but have to admit that Aly's dreamy vocals in the bridge before the final chorus - "Should've been could've been a brighter version of me. I was worth so much more then I ever believed" and AJ's adlibs in the final chorus are my favorite moments vocally. And I haven't even talked about the melodies here. This is so damn catchy! The verses are fast-paced and intense, and again, very aggresive, but the way the line sort of crash into each other from the beginning, kinda like "Should've been, could've been a tougher version of me-Held out thinking you were speaking honestly. Meanwhile you were running all over town-Hit the switch now you're caught with you're pants down" and it just has that throughout is wonderfully, and the chorus is extremely wordy - in a good way - but you can pick up on the melody by the second one, and that's always a plus. Overall, this is just another one of my favorite by them and another one worthy of being an 11.
Well...I uh....I finished. Here are my averages:
Into The Rush - Standard: 9.36, Deluxe: 9.35/High - Standard: 6x10s, Deluxe: 7x10s/Low: 2x8.5s
Insomniatic - Standard: 10.08, Deluxe: 10/High: 1x11, 11x10s/Low: 2x9.5s
Hothouse: 9.81/High: 9x10s/Low: 1x9
Ten Years - Standard: 10, Deluxe: 9.83/High: 4x10s/Low: 2x9.5s
Sanctuary: 10/High: 5x10s
Extras: 10/High: 5x10s
Ummmm...yeah. They're just pretty amazing. I really did try to lower my scores in places, but I just feel like they deserve it. If possible, I'd hand out multiple 11s and 12s to be honest, to differentiate how much I love these songs. So I'm going to be pretty happy no matter what way this shakes out. Even my two 8.5s are great songs that I'm okay with sticking around for a little bit. I may not have much of an impact on overall placements, but I don't mind, as there aren't many placements I'm gonna be mad about...unless y'all tank some of my faves, in which case, I will throw hands.
Speaking of those faves, this is the list of my potential 11s:
Potential Breakup Song
Attack Of Panic
The bolded ones were the final contenders, but I ended up going with an Insomniatic album track that I feel like is really underrated, as it's one of my faves. I hope y'all prove me wrong and it does well. If it doesn't, there's quite a few more songs I can root for though.
I have no idea what the first song to go will be.
Also, this has got to be one of the fastest rates I've finished before the deadline.
Hmm I haven't started rating this, but if Silly Boy had been included, that would have been a 11 contender.
I'm giving my 11 to Sanctuary
the entire EP I mean, not just the song ddd.
Blow My House Down
Fifteen & a Half
5 Damn Days
Hole In the Earth
Hothouse was (also) meant to be the fourth studio album by Aly & AJ, who were still using 78violet as their name at the time.
After 78violet was shelved and the Hollywood Records departure, things went relatively quiet for Aly & AJ. There was the release of “Belong Here” which was used as the theme song for Aly's CW show Hellcats in late 2010, but not much else. (Hellcats was iconic by the way, I'm still bummed that they weren't renewed for a second season).
Then, in July 2013, Aly & AJ marked their comeback with the release of the single "Hothouse", their first lead single for a new album in nearly seven years. “Hothouse” represented another departure for the duo, as it was a lot folkier and less commercially pop than Insomniatic. The girls confirmed the album would follow in the same vein, and that it would also be titled Hothouse and would be released later in the year.
“Boy” was lined up as the second single and was even performed for a Billboard Tastemakers session. And then… everything went quiet. (Haven’t we heard this story before?). The album was never released.
Then, bizarrely, almost a year later in June 2014… the album leaked. And it wasn’t just songs from recording sessions – it leaked with artwork and a tracklisting, meaning there was an entire project ready to go that just wasn’t released. Weirdly enough however, the second single “Boy” wasn’t part of the leak – it would take another year and a half (!) for “Boy” to leak in December 2015, at which point the girls weren’t even going by 78violet anymore.
To this day, Aly & AJ have never really spoken about why the album was shelved, just that it was and that they know it leaked, at least as far as I’m aware. The producer of the album however, David Kahne (who most of us will probably know from his work on Kelly Clarkson’s My December), was understandably low-key pissed – he did an interview a few years ago about it, which unfortunately seems to have been wiped off the internet now.
In a very interesting turn of events, Aly & AJ have spoken as recently as March 2020 about releasing Hothouse, but only as a fan-club exclusive vinyl. They did say they might remove “5 Damn Days” and “Little Notes” though which nobabyno.mp4 but we’ll have to wait and see if any of this actually comes to fruition.
My personal thoughts on the album? I think it’s stunning, and it’s really disappointing that it wasn’t officially released. It’s easy to paint the whole thing as “folky” or “indie”, but it's still really strong pop that also manages to dabble in a few different styles – I love the use of live instrumentation with electronic flourishes here and there, and I’m a sucker for strings in general so I love the inclusion of those. (I still hate the title though nn – I remember someone saying "Hothouse" sounds like KFC and I've never forgotten that).
FYC: Crawl, Fifteen & a Half, Little Notes, 8 Hours, 53rd Floor
1.5 WEEKS TO VOTE!
Hmmm... I'm guessing Blush or the title track based on that list. Perched to see if I'm right!
Ooh my. Not sure why these songs got slandered, but I hope a release aside from the Vinyl is possible (as I do not have any of those). This has me perched, cause Hothouse is amazing and definitely the sound they should have explored more.
Separate names with a comma.