Follow Us on Twitter

Almost Alice - Review

Almost Alice

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

SOUNDTRACK compilations inspired by movies are rapidly becoming another cool way of promoting films as well as allowing bands to broaden their own fanbase.

Hence, Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland is released in two formats: one featuring the original soundtrack music of Danny Elfman, and this version featuring ‘imaginative compositions brought to life by the fantastic world of Alice in Wonderland‘.

How much you’re prepared to write this off as a cash-in probably depends on how much of a sceptic resides inside you. But there’s no denying the quality of the artists assembled for this particular effort, or some of the songs that have resulted.

Leading the way is Avril Lavigne’s really rather excellent end titles song, Alice, which unfolds using a sombre piano loop and some gutsy vocals that tap into the confusion of the eponymous heroine.

It’s brilliantly delivered, rousing and a good way to close the movie.

The All-American Rejects contribute a part-mellow, part revved up son called The Poison, which lulls you into a false sense of calm, before taking you down the rabbit hole in suitably trippy fashion. It’s a good song and another highlight.

Likewise, Owl City’s sumptuous The Technicolor Phase, which pretty much underlines why they’re one of the buzz bands of the moment… swirling electronics, hushed vocals and a really calming influence, coupled with some imagery-laden lyrics befitting the visual style of Burton’s movie.

Further highlights come from Shinedown’s Her Name Is Alice, which is brillianly written to encomposs many known Lewis Caroll themes, while Plain White T’s Welcome To Mystery is another example of why this particular band continue to grow in our esteem with each new release.

There are disappointments, of course. Franz Ferdinand’s contribution, The Lobster Quardrille is wilfully trippy and art-rock, but not in a good way, while Wolfmother’s stadium sized ’70s rock offering Fell Down A Hole is more in keeping with their music thing than the style of Burton’s movie.

The Cure frontman Robert Smith’s Very Good Advice is also a curiosity that may divide fans… to describe it as Burton-esque in composition is probably the best compliment, but anyone anticipating a Goth-offering akin to Cure material may be disappointed.

With further hit-and-miss contributions coming from the likes of Kerli, Motion City Soundtrack, Metro Station and All Time Low (to name but a few more), Almost Alice is, for want of a better term, almost brilliant… but not quite a completely satisfying experience either.

It has enough strong moments, though, to be worth venturing down the musical rabbit hole…

Read our review of the movie

Track listing:

  1. Alice – Avril Lavingne
  2. The Poison – The All-Amercian Rejects
  3. The Technicolor Phase – Owl City
  4. Her Name Is Alice – Shinedown
  5. Painting Flowers – All Time Low
  6. Where’s My Angel – Metro Station
  7. Strange – Tokio Hotel And Kerli
  8. Follow Me Down – 303H!3 Featuring Neon Hitch
  9. Very Good Advice – Robert Smith
  10. In Transit – Mark Hoppus And Pete Wentz
  11. Welcome To The Mystery – Plain White T’s
  12. Tea Party – Kerli
  13. The Lobster Quardrille – Franz Ferdinand
  14. Always Running Out Of Time – Motion City Soundtrack
  15. Fell Down A Hole – Wolfmother
  16. White Rabbit – Grace Potter And The Nocturnals