In a way “Alice” could be considered a kind of forgotten work of Belgian synthesist Walter Christian Rothe. Initially released on vinyl in 1987 as a concept album it was followed by a cd release in 1997 on the IC label as “The Story of Alice”. Unfortunately, four new tracks replaced three of the originals while the beautiful cover by the painter Alain Balencourt was substituted with a typical IC bland cover. These factors ruined the original album’s atmosphere and it took 30 years for the original, IC and new unreleased music to come together as a 75 minutes cd complemented by the original artwork.
Like many concept albums “Alice” resists categorisation consisting mainly of symphonic compositions infused with strong melodic sequences and a few vocal tracks conveying the storyline. Vera Mann and Ingeborg de Blende contributed vocals on six (of 14) tracks encapsulate distinct elements of Vangelis (“Everything fades into mist”, “Secret Run”) and other contemporary electronic acts from around that time.
The spherical, imaginary side e.g. nicely comes to the surface on “Endless Dream” and “Love at Dawn” while the beautiful and emotional vocals on “Dream Maker”, “A Coin for a Night” or the voice on “Sixty Years later” easily take you away to worlds beyond. On the other hand, I have mixed feelings about the vocals on other pieces. Musically they sound fine and songlike but somehow the vocals are a bit distracting from the instrumental magic hidden within these compositions.
Still, “Alice, 30th Anniversary edition” truly enhances the original elements with updated ones and has been expanded with three bonus tracks complementing the great looking package. The bonus tracks “Dreamtime” and “Epilogue” unique to this release conclude the story of Alice. The last (bonus) track is a personal journey down memory lane by Walter and his daughter Elaine Marie-Kasha.
|You can see what reviews I have done of this artist on the Walter Christian Rothe artist page
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