“I invite you to a world where there is no such thing as time” declares Shinedown lead singer Brent Smith in the rock-driven “Her Name Is Alice” as a young girl’s voice intones such Carroll-esque statements as “What it wouldn’t be it is, and what it is it wouldn’t be. You see?” Statements like this make up the majority of this inspired pop-rock album with a collection of music assembled by Executive Producer Brad Malouf.

Including such known entities as Avril Lavigne (whose track “Alice” serves as the end title song for Tim Burton’s new 3-D extravaganza Alice in Wonderland), Franz Ferdinand, Plain White T’s, The All-American Rejects, and Wolfmother, as well as individual members of bands – Mark Hoppus of blink-182, Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy, and Robert Smith of The Cure, Almost Alice is a fairly star-studded affair. And though each group of artists was given free reign to explore “elements from the film and Lewis Carroll’s books to develop their own individual interpretations” this hour-long collection of music feels solidly grounded in central themes of strangeness and exploration.

While each song stands on its own merits “Tea Party” is the most distinct song on the album, mixing elements of poppy hip-hop and dance music. While the lyrics aren’t exactly thrilling (“hear me shout, tip me over and pour me out”) it’s got a bouncing beat that’s infectious. Franz Ferdinand’s “The Lobster Quadrille” is probably the most interesting and original track, with Alex Kapranos affecting a deep monotonous singing manner. Wrapping up the album, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals provide a fairly straightforward rendition of Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit.”

Overall, this is an enjoyable poppy album, but nothing too ground-breaking is ever presented.

Zach’s Rating: B+
Perfect For: Alice in Wonderland fiends and Hot Topic shoppers
Stay away if: You’re looking for a score/soundtrack album

To purchase Almost Alice, visit Amazon

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