Insomniatic

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Insomniatic
Studio album by Aly & AJ
ReleasedJuly 10, 2007 (2007-07-10)
(see release history)
Recorded2007
GenreElectro rock, electropop, pop rock
Length42:55
LabelHollywood Records
ProducerAntonina Armato, Gerry Cagle (exec.), Tim James, Carrie Michalka (exec.)
Aly & AJ chronology
Acoustic Hearts of Winter
(2006)
Insomniatic
(2007)
78violet
(2012)
Singles from Insomniatic
  1. "Potential Breakup Song"
    Released: June 26, 2007
  2. "Like Whoa"
    Released: January 21, 2008
  3. "Insomniatic"
    Released: February 1, 2008
  4. "Bullseye"
    Released: March 19, 2008
  5. "Like It or Leave It"
    Released: April 10, 2008
  6. "Tears"
    Released: May 5, 2008
  7. "I'm Here"
    Released: June 11, 2008
  8. "If I Could Have You Back"
    Released: July 30, 2008
  9. "Blush"
    Released: August 22, 2008
  10. "Division (÷)"
    Released: September 18, 2008
  11. "Careful With Words"
    Released: October 10, 2008
  12. "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree"
    Released: December 5, 2011
 
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Insomniatic
Studio album by Aly & AJ
ReleasedJuly 10, 2007 (2007-07-10)
(see release history)
Recorded2007
GenreElectro rock, electropop, pop rock
Length42:55
LabelHollywood Records
ProducerAntonina Armato, Gerry Cagle (exec.), Tim James, Carrie Michalka (exec.)
Aly & AJ chronology
Acoustic Hearts of Winter
(2006)
Insomniatic
(2007)
78violet
(2012)
Singles from Insomniatic
  1. "Potential Breakup Song"
    Released: June 26, 2007
  2. "Like Whoa"
    Released: January 21, 2008
  3. "Insomniatic"
    Released: February 1, 2008
  4. "Bullseye"
    Released: March 19, 2008
  5. "Like It or Leave It"
    Released: April 10, 2008
  6. "Tears"
    Released: May 5, 2008
  7. "I'm Here"
    Released: June 11, 2008
  8. "If I Could Have You Back"
    Released: July 30, 2008
  9. "Blush"
    Released: August 22, 2008
  10. "Division (÷)"
    Released: September 18, 2008
  11. "Careful With Words"
    Released: October 10, 2008
  12. "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree"
    Released: December 5, 2011

Insomniatic is the second studio album by American teen pop recording duo Aly & AJ, now known as 78violet. The album was released on July 10, 2007 in the United States through Hollywood Records, and was later released in the UK and Italy on October 22, 2007 with new cover art. The album features an electronic based sound, differing from their previous pop-rock and acoustic releases, that was accented with the use of synthesizers, sampling, drum programming and vocal processing affects. The lyrical content of the album is centered heavily around heartbreak, which some critics noted its contrast to the electronic elements presented.

Insomniatic was well received by many music critics, many of with lauded the duo for the lyrical depth and evolution. Others, however, label the composition of the album to be bland and unoriginal. The album debuted at number fifteen on the Billboard 200 with sales of 39,000. As of December 2007, the album has sold over 300,000 copies in the U.S.[1] Twelve singles were spawned from the album, but only had success with the first two. The first single, "Potential Breakup Song", was released on June 26, 2007 and became charted within the top thirty in several countries, including the United States where it peaked at number seventeen. "Like Whoa" was released as the album's second single in early 2008 and charted in the lower regions of the charts.

This album stands as the final release by Aly & AJ under this name and their final release from Hollywood Records.

Contents

Background

MTV.com's The Leak section posted all 12 songs on the standard edition of the album in their entirety, on July 3, 2007. The song "Blush" was excluded in the MTV.com full album stream as well not being included in the iTunes edition. The song "Like Whoa" was featured in an episode of MTV's The Hills and the girls' made-for-TV (MTV) movie Super Sweet 16: The Movie, which premiered on July 8, 2007 and in High School Musical 3: Senior Year on October 24, 2008. The song eventually became the album's second single.

Instrumental versions of all 12 songs are available commercially on the iTunes Store, alongside the standard 12-track album with vocals. The album's title is not actually a word ("insomniac" serves as both a noun and an adjective);[2] the definition of Insomniatic as stated by them is: A state of mind where one becomes addicted to the deprivation of sleep caused by an epic revelation of joy. The Australian release of the album features the cover art same as the deluxe edition, aside from the "Deluxe Edition" tag. It also features with the original "Chemicals React" track as the first track, following the rest of the standard album.[3]

Composition

Insomniatic is primary a electro rock[4] album that focuses instrumentally on the usage of synthesizers, drum programming, synthesized drums, sampling,[4] loops[4] and vocoders,[4] creating a synthesized sound throughout.[5] The set encompasses numerous genres including rock, pop, electronica, New Wave, and europop. The lyrical themes of the album are centered around heartbreak and loss. The first song, "Potential Breakup Song", is composed as an electropop song that incorporates elements of electronica,[6] electro-rock[4] and dance in its composition. The song's lyrics describe a situation in which certain instances have led to the dissolution of a union.[6] The title track is an electro rock number that consists of instrumentation from "striking" drums and "quick' guitar riffs.[6] The duo, who harmonizes throughout the song, speak of the feeling derived from insomnia.[6] "Silence" features an opening consisting of a soft percussion and the accompaniment of synthesized instruments and piano with the vocals.[6][7] "Like Whoa" differs from the rest of the album in sound as it runs through an upbeat dance rhythm and electronic beats, similar to those in "Bullseye", while ncorporating sounds of an amusement park ride and New Wave music.[8] "Blush" is a lite ballad that features hints of sexual tension and suggestiveness in the lyrics.[5][8] "Bullseye", along with "If I Could Have You Back" and "Like or Leave It", blend 70s and 80s guitar tones with electronic beats.[4] "Closure" is an electro pop ballad that is composed of synthesizer keyboards and distorted guitars.[7]

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Allmusic2.5/5 stars[9]
Billboard(positive)[10]
TheCelebrityCafe.com(positive)[11]
Famoso Magazine3/5 stars[12]
The Guardian4/5 stars[13]
Jesus Freak Hideout3.5/5 stars[14]
Robert Christgau(choice cut)[15]
stv.tv4/5 stars[16]
Tommy2.net3/4 stars[17]

Kathi Kamen Goldmark of Common Sense Media gave the album four out of five stars, praising the duo's vocals and the "gentle undertone of self-esteem and standing up for yourself in relationships" as "refreshing".[5] She further commented that the album was "better written than their first album" and that "the highs of flirtation, the confusion that comes with being caught in the undertow of sexual attraction while taking care of yourself and setting limits, and the sadness and disappointment of breaking up" were "all described in well-constructed songs containing G-rated imagery."[5] Sari N. Kent of TheCelebrityCafe wrote positively about the album, writing in her review that the album "will make listeners jump up and take notice of this harmonic twosome. Their active beats will infect listeners' ears and make them want to dance whether they want to or not."[6] Logan Leasure of JesusFreakHideout wrote that the album "offers some positive content through brokenness, but this is not an album worth presenting to someone looking for Christ."[8] Caroline Sullivan of The Guardian rated the album an A, praising "the effect of which is to leave the listener suspended between hyped-up delight and despair at the micro-produced perfection of it all" and the songwriting/production team for crafting "lush, assertive little symphonies with massive hooklines that make the most of the sisters' Britneyish breathiness."[18] T2 of Tommy2.Net gave Insomniatic a three out of four star rating, praising the evolution of lyrics and sound present by the Michalka sisters.[4] Sputnikmusic wrote positively about the album, praising it as "an underrated pop-rock album with solid songwriting, stellar production, and first-rate vocals." The website also found the lyrics to be heartfelt and named "Potential Breakup Song", "Silence" and "If I Could Have You Back" as standout tracks.[7] Chuck Eddy of Billboard in a positive review of the album described Insomniatic as "an endlessly ambitious yet endlessly effervescent confessional pop-rock breakup album that deserves to carry them far beyond their teen pop base."

Promotion

United States

United Kingdom

Track listing

No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Potential Breakup Song"  Aly Michalka, AJ Michalka, Antonina Armato, Tim James3:39
2."Bullseye"  A. Michalka, AJ. Michalka, Armato, James3:02
3."Closure"  A. Michalka, AJ. Michalka, Armato, James2:50
4."Division (÷)"  A. Michalka, AJ. Michalka, Armato, James3:44
5."Like It or Leave It"  A. Michalka, AJ. Michalka, Armato, James3:17
6."Like Whoa"  A. Michalka, AJ. Michalka, Armato, James2:31
7."Insomniatic"  A. Michalka, AJ. Michalka2:47
8."Silence"  A. Michalka, AJ. Michalka, Carrie Michalka3:33
9."If I Could Have You Back"  A. Michalka, AJ. Michalka, Dan Wilson2:53
10."Blush"  A. Michalka, AJ. Michalka3:33
11."Flattery"  A. Michalka, AJ. Michalka, Armato, James4:08
12."I'm Here"  A. Michalka, AJ. Michalka4:06
13."Chemicals React" (Remix)A. Michalka, AJ. Michalka, Armato, James2:55
14."Careful With Words" (Wal-Mart/Japan bonus track / UK "Potential Breakup Song" B-Side)A. Michalka, AJ. Michalka2:20
15."Tears" (Target bonus track, alongside two ringtones / Japan bonus track)A. Michalka, AJ. Michalka, C. Michalka2:05

Deluxe edition

A deluxe edition of the album was originally scheduled to be released on November 6, 2007, then on March 4, 2008, later on March 18 to be canceled in North America afterwards. The 6-song extended CD includes acoustic performances at the Abbey Road Sessions in the UK, and a remix, along with a bonus DVD that contains music videos to Aly & AJ's main singles. Though early reports were notifying the DVD would include Aly & AJ's My Super Sweet 16/18 Birthday Party Review, My Super Sweet 16/18 Birthday Party, The Aly & AJ: Sister Act MTV special, and an Aly & AJ featured MTV Cribs clip.[19] The deluxe edition only had a Japanese release, on March 5, 2007.[20]

CD
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Potential Breakup Song"  Aly Michalka, AJ Michalka, Antonina Armato, Tim James3:39
2."Bullseye"  Aly Michalka, AJ Michalka, Antonina Armato, Tim James3:02
3."Closure"  Aly Michalka, AJ Michalka, Antonina Armato, Tim James2:50
4."÷"  Aly Michalka, AJ Michalka, Antonina Armato, Tim James3:44
5."Like It or Leave It"  Aly Michalka, AJ Michalka, Antonina Armato, Tim James3:17
6."Like Whoa"  Aly Michalka, AJ Michalka, Antonina Armato, Tim James2:31
7."Insomniatic"  Aly Michalka, AJ Michalka2:47
8."Silence"  Aly Michalka, AJ Michalka, Carrie Michalka3:33
9."If I Could Have You Back"  Aly Michalka, AJ Michalka, Dan Wilson2:53
10."Flattery"  Aly Michalka, AJ Michalka, Antonina Armato, Tim James4:08
11."I'm Here"  Aly Michalka, AJ Michalka4:06
12."Chemicals React" (Remix)Aly Michalka, AJ Michalka, Antonina Armato, Tim James2:55
13."Careful With Words"  Aly Michalka, AJ Michalka2:20
14."Tears"  Aly Michalka, AJ Michalka2:05
15."Blush"  Aly Michalka, AJ Michalka3:33
16."Potential Breakup Song" (Hi-Grand Up Remix Radio Edit) 3:47
17."Potential Breakup Song" (Abbey Road Sessions) 3:13
18."Bullseye" (Abbey Road Sessions) 3:15
19."Closure" (Abbey Road Sessions) 2:57
20."Division" (Abbey Road Sessions) 3:50
21."Black Horse and the Cherry Tree" (Abbey Road Sessions) (KT Tunstall cover)KT Tunstall2:51
Disc 2 (DVD)
No.TitleLength
1."Rush" (music video) 
2."No One" (music video) 
3."Chemicals React" (music video) 
4."Potential Breakup Song" (music video) 
5."Like Whoa" (music video) 

Release history

The album was released on 10 July 2007 in the United States, on 22 October 2007 in the UK and Italy — with a new cover art — and ultimately in Singapore in April 2008. An enhanced Deluxe Edition was released in Japan on 5 March 2008. The cover of the Deluxe Edition (aside from the "deluxe edition" tag) was used for an Australian release on 15 March 2008.[3]

RegionVersionDate
North AmericaBasic album10 July 2007
North America (iTunes)Instrumental album
Selected parts of EuropeBasic album22 October 2007
JapanBasic album[21]November 7, 2007
Deluxe Edition[22]5 March 2008
AustraliaBasic album*18 March 2008

* Features the original "Chemicals React" as first track, followed by the rest of the standard album.

Singles

"Potential Breakup Song"

"Like Whoa"

Chart performance

The album debuted at #15 in the official United States Billboard 200 albums chart, selling over 39,000 copies in its first week, becoming Aly & AJ's highest debut to date.[23] Insomniatic remained on the charts for 18 weeks in total, dropping out after the fourteenth week, to re-enter six weeks later.[24]

Chart (2007)Peak
position
Japan Oricon International Album Chart90
UK Albums Chart72
U.S. Billboard 20015

References

  1. ^ "A couple of sales questions answered". USA Today. http://blogs.usatoday.com/listenup/2007/12/a-couple-of-sal.html. Retrieved 2010-01-16. [dead link]
  2. ^ [1]. Dictionary.com. Retrieved March 3, 2007.
  3. ^ a b "ALY & AJ - INSOMNIATIC - CD". EMI. http://musichead.com.au/site/artistProduct.asp?actID=165363&catalogNo=5225292. Retrieved 2008-10-28. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "Tommy2.Net". Tommy2.Net. Tommy2.Net. http://www.tommy2.net/content/reviewalyandaj.php. Retrieved 28 January 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c d Kamen Goldmark, Kathi. "Insomniatic - Music Review". Common Sense Media. Common Sense Media Inc.. http://www.commonsensemedia.org/music-reviews/insomniatic. Retrieved 28 January 2012. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f Kent, Sari N.. "Insomniatic". TheCelebrityCafe. TheCelebrityCafe. http://thecelebritycafe.com/cd/full_review/12992.html. Retrieved 28 January 2012. 
  7. ^ a b c "Aly and AJ - Insomniatic (album review)". Sputnikmusic. Sputnikmusic.com. http://sputnikmusic.com/review/14355/Aly-and-AJ-Insomniatic/. Retrieved 28 January 2012. 
  8. ^ a b c Leasure, Logan. "Aly & AJ, Insomniatic Review". JesusfreakHideout.com. Jesus freak Hideout. http://www.jesusfreakhideout.com/cdreviews/Insomniatic.asp. Retrieved 28 January 2012. 
  9. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/album/r1075406
  10. ^ [2][dead link]
  11. ^ Sari N. Kent (2007-08-16). "Insomniatic". TheCelebrityCafe.com. http://thecelebritycafe.com/cd/full_review/12992.html. Retrieved 2011-09-16. 
  12. ^ "便利ホームページ". Famosomagazine.com. http://www.famosomagazine.com/?page_id=191. Retrieved 2011-09-16. 
  13. ^ Caroline Sullivan (12 October 2007). "CD: Aly & AJ, Insomniatic | Music | The Guardian". London: Music.guardian.co.uk. http://music.guardian.co.uk/pop/reviews/story/0,,2188879,00.html. Retrieved 2011-09-16. 
  14. ^ "Aly & AJ, "Insomniatic" Review". Jesusfreakhideout.com. http://www.jesusfreakhideout.com/cdreviews/Insomniatic.asp. Retrieved 2011-09-16. 
  15. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Insomniatic". Robert Christgau. http://www.robertchristgau.com/get_album.php?id=13796. 
  16. ^ "Music | STV Entertainment". Stv.tv. 2011-09-11. http://www.stv.tv/content/out/music/album_reviews/display.html?id=opencms:/out/music/album_reviews/Aly_and_AJx_Insomniatic. Retrieved 2011-09-16. 
  17. ^ "Tommy2.Net". Tommy2.Net. 2007-07-10. http://www.tommy2.net/content/reviewalyandaj.php. Retrieved 2011-09-16. 
  18. ^ Sullivan, Caroline (12 October 2007). "CD: Aly & AJ, Insomniatic". The Guardian (London: Guardian News and Media Limited). http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2007/oct/12/popandrock.shopping4. Retrieved 28 January 2012. 
  19. ^ http://tommy2.net January, 2008
  20. ^ Deluxe Edition info. Avex. Retrieved February 9, 2007.
  21. ^ "Insomniatic - Limited CD". hmv. http://www.hmv.co.jp/en/product/detail/2602099. Retrieved 2009-10-15. 
  22. ^ "Insomniatic - Deluxe Edition CD". hmv. http://www.hmv.co.jp/en/product/detail/2674709. Retrieved 2009-10-15. 
  23. ^ Katie Hasty, "T.I. Holds Off Pumpkins, Interpol To Remain No. 1", Billboard.com, July 18, 2007.
  24. ^ Insomniatic Chart Trajectory on Billboard 200, based on Billboard.com info, Aly & AJ Reaction.