Alice (Avril Lavigne song)

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"Alice"
Single by Avril Lavigne
from the album Almost Alice & Goodbye Lullaby
B-side "Welcome to Mystery"
Released 29 January 2010 (2010-01-29)
(see release history)
Format CD single, digital download
Recorded January 2010
Genre Alternative rock,[1][2] pop rock
Length 3:35 (Original version)
5:00 (Extended version)
Label Buena Vista
Writer(s) Avril Lavigne
Producer(s) Butch Walker
Avril Lavigne singles chronology
"The Best Damn Thing"
(2008)
"Alice"
(2010)
"What the Hell"
(2011)
Almost Alice track listing
Music video
"Alice" on YouTube

"Alice" is a song written and performed by Franco-Canadian singer-songwriter Avril Lavigne for Almost Alice, the soundtrack to the 2010 film Alice in Wonderland. An extended version was released as a hidden track on Lavigne's fourth studio album, Goodbye Lullaby.[3]

The song is a mid-tempo ballad sung from the perspective of the film's lead character, Alice. Lavigne wrote the song after asking Disney executives and film director Tim Burton if she could write a song for the film. The song was produced by Butch Walker and mixed by Lavigne's former husband Deryck Whibley.[4]

Background[edit]

In January 2010, Lavigne was in a board meeting at the Disney offices going over clothing designs inspired by Alice in Wonderland for her Abbey Dawn line, when she mentioned to the executives that she was writing music for her upcoming album and would love to write a song for the film's soundtrack. Discussions between Lavigne's manager and film executives took place, and director Tim Burton agreed to let Lavigne write the song. Lavigne stated, "I got off the phone, sat down at my piano at home, wrote the song immediately; I was so inspired because I'd been designing for the movie [...] so I had all the images in my head." She played the song for Burton, who later called Lavigne to give his approval and confirm the song would be used for the film.

On his radio show, On Air with Ryan Seacrest, Seacrest called the story a "great lesson," telling his listeners "you ask for what you want. You gotta go for it, because if you didn't ask for it, then you wouldn't have gotten [the opportunity]."[4] "Alice" was premiered on Seacrest's radio show on 27 January, when Lavigne made a surprise visit to the studio.[5] Lavigne described the song as different from her previous work, calling it "a little darker."[4]

The song was played over the film's end credits,[6][7] and went on to sell 45,000 copies within the first four weeks of its release.[8] Lavigne performed "Alice" on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on 3 March 2010.[9][10]

Composition[edit]

"Alice" is a moderately fast ballad at 120 beats per minute performed in the key of C major. Lavigne's vocal range spans from G3 to F5. Guitar and piano accompany Lavigne's vocals.[11]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
About.com 4/5 stars[12]
Calgary Herald (positive)[13]
Digital Spy (favorable)[1]
411mania.com 2/5 stars[14]
Idolator (mixed)[15]
Los Angeles Times (mixed)[16]

In his review for the soundtrack Almost Alice, William Ruhlmann of Allmusic described "Alice" as "a typical piece of self-assertive adolescent pop/rock", noting that it was "ideally suited for heavy rotation on Radio Disney".[17] Todd Martens, writing for the Los Angeles Times, approved of the song's "darker, more angsty vision", adding that it was a return to Lavigne's sound in Under My Skin. He described the beginning of the song as, "promising, with wavy synths caught somewhere between a nightmare and a dream".[16]

Bill Lamb of About.com gave the song 4 stars out of 5, appreciating Lavigne's interpretation of Alice's dilemma. He found her vocals emotional, "expressing the confusion of Alice falling through that rabbit hole".

"Alice" works both as an emotional, dramatic evocation of struggles with confusing times in life, and setting the scene for the movie making listeners eager to see the story that generates this heart-pounding, raw statement of the survival instinct. [...] There is a raw immediacy to the sound which grabs listeners instantly. It's hard to know if it will be a major pop hit, but the song does provide a suitably dramatic intro to publicity for the upcoming film.[12]

The Calgary Herald wrapped its opinion of "Alice" in succinct praise, calling it "one of the best songs of Avril's career", adding that Avril's repertoire does not otherwise live up to its hype.[13] Digital Spy's Nick Levine called the song "a big angsty rock ballad", finding the track "cinematic" and at times "ghostly", before mentioning that the song took several listens to appreciate.[1]

Several critics focused on the lyrics of the song, with mixed reaction. Lamb expounded, "Lyrically, with words of 'trippin' out', Avril Lavigne brings Alice directly into a contemporary context. This will allow young fans to see more clearly the metaphorical application of Alice In Wonderland to contemporary issues and dilemmas."[12] Becky Bain of Idolator began her review commending Lavigne's lyrics for "carry[ing] genuine sentiment," believing that her "words of encouragement" would "resonate" with her teenage fans.[15] Mark Ingoldsby, of 411mania.com, had little to praise in Lavigne's lyrics, stating that Lavigne is "[a]pparently incapable of crafting witty lyrics that paint an interesting picture through creative metaphors."[14] Martens had similar feelings, writing, "[The] listener never really gets a picture of [the] trippy world Lavigne has found herself in."[16]

There was general consensus among critics regarding the chorus of the song, in which Lavigne repeatedly holds a high note for an extended period. Lamb simply called it "shouty",[12] while others elaborated. Ingoldsby sub-titled his review "Wail of a Fail", but although he could appreciate the beginning of the song, calling it "eerie and captivating" and describing Lavigne's voice as "unremarkable, yet pleasant", he found the rest of the song — from "the second part of the first verse" onwards — to be a "recreation of an Alanis Morissette-style spaz-out session".[14] Bain was also unimpressed with the chorus. "[The] biggest problem with the song is that Lavigne, trying to come off like Amy Lee, is constantly screeching while attempting to hit those high notes. It’s difficult to enjoy a song while you’re wincing during the chorus."[15] Story Gilmore of Neonlimelight.com reviewed Lavigne's live performance on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. He described the performance as "toned down" and stated that Lavigne showed vocal growth during the performance, "easily shifting from full voice to high notes".

As of October 2011, Alice had sold 373,000 digital copies in the US.[18]

Music video[edit]

Concept[edit]

The music video opens with Lavigne following a white rabbit into a forest. As the piano in the soundtrack begins playing, the video briefly cuts to Lavigne's hands playing the notes on a piano. The video returns to Lavigne's character, who trips and falls into a hole near a large tree. Her fall is intercut with shots of Alice (from Burton's film) colliding with objects, including a piano. When Lavigne opens her eyes, she is lying at the bottom of a deep hole,[19] dressed in a black gothic corset dress[20] and stockings imprinted with playing card suits.

Lavigne sings while sitting at the Mad Hatter's tea party, her "echo" appearing in the corner.[19]

When Lavigne climbs out of the hole, she finds herself in Wonderland. The song enters the chorus, and the video cuts and dissolves between Lavigne's character running through the forest and Lavigne singing and performing the song on the piano. The only Wonderland character to make an appearance at this point is a fleeting glimpse of the Cheshire Cat.

She arrives at a tea party, and the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) stands, welcoming her with open arms. The scene is edited with footage of the Mad Hatter from Burton's film. As Lavigne sinks into a chair singing, her lyrical "echo" is visually emphasized with her face quickly dissolving in and out. As the verse ends, Lavigne stands and runs away from the scene. The chorus of the song returns to shots of Lavigne running through the forest, arriving at a piano surrounded by giant mushrooms. The video cuts between shots of Lavigne playing the instrument and singing, eventually showing Lavigne running through a misty copse of bamboo trees. Various scenes from the film are shown in succession, before Lavigne is reintroduced running toward an opening in the forest. As she exits the forest, she is dressed in her normal clothing.[19]

Production and release[edit]

Lavigne shot the music video for "Alice" on 26–27 January 2010.[4] The video was directed by Dave Meyers,[5][21] which was partly filmed at the Los Angeles Arboretum.[21] Meyers worked closely with Lavigne to create the video. His intention was to capture "the haunting quality of the song" on video and present it with a gothic feel. Lavigne wanted to include piano sequences to stress the instrument's contribution to the song.[22] Footage from Burton's Alice in Wonderland was edited prominently into the video.[23]

The video premiered online on 17 February 2010.[24]

Track listing[edit]

Digital download
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Alice"   Avril Lavigne 3:34
German CD single[25]
No. Title Length
1. "Alice"   3:34
2. "Welcome to Mystery" (performed by Plain White T's) 4:27

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label Format
North America 27 January 2010 (2010-01-27)[5] Buena Vista Radio premiere
29 January 2010 (2010-01-29)[26] Digital download
Australia 27 February 2010 (2010-02-27)[27]
Europe 28 February 2010 (2010-02-28)[28][29] Walt Disney (Europe)
Germany 5 March 2010 (2010-03-05)[25] CD single

Charts and certifications[edit]

Awards[edit]

Year Awards ceremony Award Results
2010 TRL Awards Best Video Nominated
MuchMusic Video Awards[44] International Video of the Year by a Canadian Nominated
Ur Fave Video (Peoples choice) Nominated
Nickelodeon Kid's Choice Awards Mexico Favorite Song Nominated
Satellite Award[45] Best Original Song Nominated
Chart Attack's 16th Annual Year-End Readers' Poll[46] Best Song Won
2011 MTV Video Music Awards Japan Best Karaokee! Song Nominated
Best Video from a Film Won
MTV Fan Music Awards[47] Best Movie Song Won

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Levine, Nick (29 January 2010). "Time for a new Avril Lavigne tune!". Digital Spy. Retrieved 4 February 2010. 
  2. ^ http://thehypefactor.com/avril-lavigne-alice/ Alice is an alternative rock/Acoustic rock song written and performed by Canadian singer/songwriter Avril Lavigne for the soundtrack to the 2010 film Alice in Wonderland, entitled Almost Alice.
  3. ^ "Goodbye Lullaby Track-Listing Confirmed!". Avrillavigne.com. 21 December 2010. Archived from the original on 21 December 2010. Retrieved 21 December 2010. 
  4. ^ a b c d Lavigne, Avril (26 January 2010). Interview with Avril Lavigne. Interview with Ryan Seacrest. On Air with Ryan Seacrest. KIIS. Los Angeles, California. Retrieved 26 January 2010. 
  5. ^ a b c Lavigne, Avril (27 January 2010). Worldwide Premiere of "Alice" and interview. Interview with Ryan Seacrest. On Air with Ryan Seacrest. KIIS. Los Angeles, California. Retrieved 27 February 2010. 
  6. ^ Rhee, Nissa (5 April 2010). "(New Releases) Almost Alice". JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 9 April 2010. 
  7. ^ Wood, Courtney (17 March 2010). "Movie Review: Alice in Wonderland". The Pacifican. Retrieved 9 April 2010. 
  8. ^ Lipshutz, Jason (26 February 2010). "Lavigne, Hoppus explore "Wonderland"". Reuters. Retrieved 27 February 2010. 
  9. ^ Jay Leno (producer) (3 March 2010). "March 3, 2010". The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Season 18. Episode 149. 38 minutes in. NBC.
  10. ^ Gilmore, Story (4 March 2010). "Video: Avril Lavigne Performs "Alice (Underground)" On The Tonight Show With Jay Leno". Neonlimelight.com. Retrieved 9 September 2010. 
  11. ^ "Alice Avril Lavigne Digital Sheet Music". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 9 September 2010. 
  12. ^ a b c d Lamb, Bill. "Avril Lavigne – "Alice"". About.com. Archived from the original on 3 February 2010. Retrieved 4 February 2010. 
  13. ^ a b "Rounding Up Some Recent Releases". Calgary Herald. 9 February 2010. Retrieved 15 February 2010. [dead link]
  14. ^ a b c Ingoldsby, Mark (11 February 2010). "Under the Scalpel 02.11.10: Avril Lavigne, Train, You Say Party! We Say Die!". 411mania.com. Retrieved 15 February 2010. 
  15. ^ a b c Bain, Becky (27 January 2010). "Avril Lavigne’s "Alice (Underground)" Is Far From The Best Damn Thing". Idolator. Archived from the original on 13 February 2010. Retrieved 15 February 2010. 
  16. ^ a b c Martens, Todd (21 February 2010). "Avril Lavigne wanders in 'Wonderland'". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 23 February 2010. Retrieved 22 February 2010. 
  17. ^ Ruhlmann, William. "Almost Alice Review". Allmusic. Retrieved 15 February 2010. 
  18. ^ "Avril Lavigne's US sales". Billboard. 
  19. ^ a b c Avril Lavigne – Alice on YouTube
  20. ^ Vallejos, Tamara (18 February 2010). "Watch: Avril Lavigne's 'Alice in Wonderland' Video". Spin. Archived from the original on 25 March 2010. Retrieved 19 February 2010. 
  21. ^ a b "Avril Lavigne 'Alice' Video". PopDirt.com. 18 February 2010. Archived from the original on 20 February 2010. Retrieved 18 February 2010. 
  22. ^ Vena, Jocelyn (19 February 2010). "Avril Lavigne's 'Alice In Wonderland' Video Is 'Haunting,' Director Says: 'I just really enjoyed the haunting quality of the song and just wanted to capture that in video form,' Dave Meyers says of 'Alice in Wonderland' track". MTV. Archived from the original on 8 March 2010. Retrieved 20 February 2010. 
  23. ^ Vena, Jocelyn (18 February 2010). "Avril Lavigne Falls Through The Rabbit Hole For 'Alice' Video: Clip features scenes from 'Alice in Wonderland' interspersed with newly shot footage of the Canadian pop star". MTV. Archived from the original on 9 March 2010. Retrieved 18 February 2010. 
  24. ^ Pastorek, Whitney (17 February 2010). "Avril Lavigne, 'Alice': Watch the 'Wonderland' video here!". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on 24 February 2010. Retrieved 22 February 2010. 
  25. ^ a b "Alice: Various: Amazon.de MP3 Download". Amazon.de. Retrieved 25 February 2010. 
  26. ^ "Alice (From "Alice In Wonderland") – Single". iTunes. Archived from the original on 5 February 2010. Retrieved 4 February 2010. 
  27. ^ "Alice (From "Alice In Wonderland") – Single Australian release date". iTunes. Retrieved 27 February 2010. 
  28. ^ "Alice by Avril Lavigne". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 28 February 2010. 
  29. ^ "Alice". Amazon.de. Retrieved 28 February 2010. 
  30. ^ "Single Top 50 Week of 21 March 2010". Australian-Charts.com. Retrieved 9 April 2010. 
  31. ^ a b c d "Avril Lavigne – Alice > Song Performance". Acharts. Retrieved 7 March 2010. 
  32. ^ "Avril Lavigne-Alice". Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved 2 April 2010. 
  33. ^ "Alice > Canadian Hot 100". Billboard. Archived from the original on 11 February 2010. Retrieved 12 February 2010. 
  34. ^ "Radio Top 100 Oficiálna Czech Republic". International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (in Czech). Retrieved 25 February 2010. 
  35. ^ "Avril Lavigne- Alice". Dutchchart. Archived from the original on 13 March 2010. Retrieved 21 April 2010. 
  36. ^ "Billboard - Avril Lavigne - European Hot 100". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved 21 April 2010. 
  37. ^ "Alice > Japan Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved 3 March 2010. 
  38. ^ "Radio Top 100 Oficiálna Slovak Republic". International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (in Slovak). Retrieved 10 February 2010. 
  39. ^ "TOP 50 CANCIONES" (PDF). Promusicae. Retrieved 21 April 2010. [dead link]
  40. ^ ":: 가온차트와 함께하세요 ::". Gaonchart.co.kr. Retrieved 22 December 2011. 
  41. ^ "Alice > Billboard Charts". Billboard. Archived from the original on 17 March 2010. Retrieved 16 March 2010. 
  42. ^ "Paid music certification for May 2012" (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. 
  43. ^ "レコード協会調べ 2009年12月16日~2010年12月14日「着うたフル(R)」 2010年有料音楽配信「年間チャート」(通称:レコ協チャート)" [Record Association Analysis: 16 December 2009—December 14, 2010 Full-length Cellphone Download 2010 paid digital sales "Yearly Chart" (Abbreviated: RIAJ Chart)]. RIAJ. 20 December 2010. Archived from the original on 23 December 2010. Retrieved 22 December 2010. 
  44. ^ "2010 MuchMusic Video Awards". MuchMusic. 20 June 2010. Archived from the original on 24 September 2010. Retrieved 14 September 2010. 
  45. ^ "INTERNATIONAL PRESS ACADEMY 2010 Nominations 15th ANNUAL SATELLITE AWARDS" (PDF). International Press Academy. Retrieved 3 December 2010. 
  46. ^ "16th Annual Year-End Readers' Poll - Best Song". Chart Attack. 8 December 2010. Archived from the original on 10 January 2011. Retrieved 21 December 2010. 
  47. ^ "MTV Fan Music Awards 2011 | The Online Music Awards". Fma-fansmtv.blogspot.com. Retrieved 22 December 2011. 

External links[edit]