ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (2016)
The movie directed by James Bobin may not have been well received by critics (it received a 30% rating on film review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes), but its soundtrack is easily one of the best we have heard in a while. This proves one thing – no one conjures music for the fantasy genre as well as American composer Danny Elfman.
The 63 year old brings to life the characters from Lewis Carroll’s beloved stories in this 76 minute CD (when was the last time you were pampered with such a luxurious amount of music on a soundtrack?), and capitalises on the memorable theme he created for the first movie in 2010.
“Alice”, a lovely six and a half minute cue that sets the tone right, kicks off the album. The dazzling track brings listeners down the rabbit hole one more time, and it easily gets you hooked to continue listening to the rest of the highly recommended album.
It’s probably due to the sheer brilliance of the main theme, that the other new themes composed for this sequel do not come out as strongly. Not that it is an issue though, because you will still be thoroughly engaged throughout the album (“The Hatter House” is melancholic, “The Red Queen” is adventurous, “Tea Time Forever” is sinister and “Time is Up” is exhilarating).
Elsewhere, “Asylum Escape”, “Oceanof Time” and “Kingsleigh & Kingsleigh” are masterfully orchestrated pieces of music that shows how talented Elfman is when it comes to using melodies to tell stories. Trust us, playing the soundtrack from start to finish is like listening to an adventure movie. In this case, it works perfectly without visuals.
Closing the album is P!NK’s end credits song “Just Like Fire”, a radio friendly pop song with aptly penned lyrics to tie in with the movie’s theme of “running out of time”.
With the bad reviews that plagued the movie, the music is unlikely to get any attention during award season. But deep down, we are hoping that it will be a dark horse and recognise Elfman for his work.
Recommended Track: (1) Alice
Review by John Li