Review : Various Artists - Almost Alice
AllmusicAs part of the marketing campaign for the Tim Burton-directed Alice, the Walt Disney Company commissioned this various-artists album, which might as well be called "Songs from, Inspired by, or Related to Alice," but is instead dubbed Almost Alice. The idea was to have a collection of pop/rock performers come up with material having something to do with Alice in Wonderland, including, as the lead-off track, Avril Lavigne's "Alice," which actually plays under the end credits of the movie. Lavigne's song is a typical piece of self-assertive adolescent pop/rock, with its tag line "Don't you try to stop me," just the sort of thing to be chanted by a pre-adolescent who doesn't want to go to bed. Like many other tracks here, it seems ideally suited for heavy rotation on Radio Disney. The songs tend to have sledgehammer hooks as simple as schoolyard chants, all the better to be bellowed from the backseats of mini-vans across America. There are a few oddities, however. The Cure's Robert Smith, one of several singers moonlighting from his group (there's also a duet by Mark Hoppus of blink-182 and Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy), turns in a cover of the Sammy Fain/Bob Hilliard song "Very Good Advice" from the 1951 Disney animated film Alice in Wonderland, and Grace Potter & the Nocturnals perform a version of "White Rabbit" close to Jefferson Airplane's 1967 original. Back in the day, that song was castigated for its supposed drug references; more than 40 years on, it's probably included to give grandparents a reason to smile....full text
EwWhat does Wonderland sound like? Any pop station on the dial, more or less, if Almost Alice, this companion to Tim Burton's latest film is any indication. The tunes come in various flavors — shrill and self- important (Avril Lavigne), plodding and grungy (Shinedown), grating and synth — based (3OH!3) — yet with a few exceptions, none are original enough to hold your attention past the first chorus. For music ostensibly inspired by a trippy fantasy, far too much here is depressingly ordinary. C–...full text
BbcDisney’s Tim Burton-directed Alice in Wonderland is certain to dominate the box office when it opens. This compilation features a similar level of marquee names – Avril Lavinge, The Cure’s Robert Smith, chart successes 3OH!3 and Owl City; the film stars Johnny Depp, Christopher Lee and Helena Bonham Carter – but lacks imagination enough to make it memorable on its own merits.
Like many various-artists soundtrack sets, this features songs inspired by the motion picture – or, rather, the stories upon which Burton’s movie is based. As such one doesn’t need to hear them beside on-screen imagery for any critical context; they can be treated as separate entities, with no narrative to bind them. So it’s disappointing that so many songs bleed into those either side of them, artists unable to leave a significant, singular mark.
All Time Low, Metro Station and Tokio Hotel are entirely interchangeable, their offerings blandly boisterous, hideously hackneyed rock presumably written with the youngest of ears in mind. The Disney association isn’t lost on those behind this release, as the assembled assortment of bands caters almost exclusively for kids with only the top 40 as a pop barometer. Follow Me Down, which finds 3OH!3 again joined by a female vocalist, Neon Hitch stepping into Katy Perry’s shoes, features a chorus so mindless – “Follow me, follow me, fa-la-la-la-la…” – that it’s practically a playground chant, designed to fit some variation on hopscotch or a hand-clap game practised by pigtailed pupils....full text
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