Monday, March 15th, 2010

Avril Lavigne – Alice

To be fair, I wouldn’t know what that was without looking it up, either…



[Video][Website]
[3.50]

Pete Baran: There are two ways of writing a movie tie in song. One involves reading the script, perhaps seeing a temp cut, feeding in some old material perhaps, being sympathetic to the milieu. A good example might be Busted’s “Thunderbirds Are Go” — keeping enough of the iconic original to mix with their own emphatic hi-octane power-pop. Alternatively you can pick up a bog standard B-side you had lying around, retrofit a verse to mention some aspect of the property, and instead of singing, shout like you are having a domestic with Deryck Whibley. The lesson being, everyone can learn something from Busted!
[3]

Martin Skidmore: I’ve not seen the movie, so I’ve no idea if this defiant yet angsty medium-paced rock ballad suits its mood, but it’s hard to imagine such an interpretation working. I like Avril when she combines a great pop tune with rock energy, and this isn’t a style I care for.
[3]

Hillary Brown: Not only am I seriously disappointed in Avril, but Butch Walker deserves a bit of disapproval directed his way, too. It does, however, seem to go along with the self-satisfied, “psychological” version of Lewis Carroll that it looks like Tim Burton’s created in yet another failure to create his own damn material, so I suppose the song at least is polite enough not to show up its context. Boo.
[3]

Matt Cibula: I do not hate this song by Avril Lavigne.
[5]

Alex Ostroff: For a gothy, inspirational piano ballad, this isn’t half bad. The foggy, reverb-heavy production and pounding drums are a nice touch, and there’s a clarity to the upper range of Avril’s register that I had no idea existed. Nonetheless, the pinched and nasal tone of her mid-range, perfect for bratty pop and snotty mall-punk, isn’t particularly well-suited at conveying determination or perseverance. My reaction to this is what I suspect my take will be on the film itself: better than I expected, but once is more than enough.
[3]

Anthony Easton: What’s weirder, playing a grand piano on the beach or in the forest, and what is worse for the piano?
[7]

Al Shipley: Starts out promisingly with a great piano sound and foreboding atmosphere, but manages to go nowhere while spinning its wheels, with each section being worse and more awkwardly realized than the last. Rarely has a vocal on a professionally mixed major label release sounded so unnervingly like someone shouting in your ear.
[3]

Rodney J. Greene: I can’t decide whether I should be glad for the excessive pitch-correction on her caterwauling or not.
[2]

Kat Stevens: In the infamous Buffy musical episode, it quickly became clear that Sarah Michelle Gellar was not possessed of the richest singing voice (that would be the awesome Tony Head). Avril’s performance here recalls SMG’s careful enunciation and painful note-elongation, but she somehow fits into the narrative of Alice In Wonderland better than a singing Buffy did in her own show. Avril has been playing the foot-stamping brat in a surreal fairytale for many years now, and knows exactly when to throw a tantrum in Lewis Carroll’s face. This doesn’t make it any less grating to listen to, though.
[2]

Alfred Soto: She shouts a lot and projects the kind of hysteria that stops at outright lunacy, which is a problem when your chorus is this limp. Besides, Stevie Nicks already wrote a song about Alice, and even that one isn’t as good as Grace Slick’s. It makes me wonder: if the Lewis Carroll tale presents such fecund ground for female singer-songwriters, why do I suspect that guys might do better past a certain age?
[4]

Doug Robertson: Unlikely as it may seem, perhaps Deryck Whibley is one hell of a muse.
[4]

Iain Mew: The vague, empty stadium ballad backing here would be too big for even a far more capable singer. For all of the effort that Avril brings, she’s drowned by it, struggling to fight her way out like a newly shrunk Alice whose clothes haven’t made the change with her.
[3]

3 Responses to “Avril Lavigne – Alice”

  1. The weird thing is that the excessive pitch-correction has carefully pitch-corrected her to be painfully out-of-tune.

  2. i do hate this song by avril lavigne.

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