Friday, July 21, 2023

Fall Down The Rabbit Hole with In Search Of’s Debut Adventure Album ‘Alice and the Wonderland’

In Search Of is a father, Michael Raitzin, and daughter, Michelle Ray collaboration based on their mutual love of music and literature. Their debut album ‘Alice and the Wonderland’ combines the weird and wonderful C.S Lewis novel with infectious riffs through a psychedelic, classic rock style that paints more than the roses red. 

In Search Of in a similar way to Ice Nine Kills and the ‘Welcome To Horrorwood: The Silver Scream 2’  take a well-known story and make it their own by blending powerful and emotive music with descriptive lyrics that bring a refreshed feeling and burst of life to the story of ‘Alice In Wonderland’

Intro’ sets the tone of the album and uses an impressive string arrangement accompanied by ambient sound effects, ‘Intro’ follows a conversation between Ray who takes on the persona of Alice and her father. This all builds up in tempo, its climax? Epic shreds on the electric guitar that will instantly have the listeners enriched into their rendition of the tale. 

The second track ‘Engagement Party’, opens with the lyric “The only way to achieve the impossible is to believe that it is possible” which is a direct quote from the novel. By including this as a lyric it immediately sets the scene and that this is Wonderland like no other. Musically ‘Engagement Party’ is told through distorted guitar riffs that are low and drawn out and perfectly balanced with an intricate drum arrangement. The vocal stylings from Ray are chesty and fuelled by emotion. Ray sings in an automatic, subconscious manner constantly picking up in tempo which brings listeners to the edge of their seats, creating a sensory-motivated track perfectly capturing the events unfolding as she sings.

‘Ambush’ takes a different approach stylistically, a prominent drum beat throughout and an infectious guitar riff accompanied by synths forming the perfect concoction of 80’s rock. The contrast in vocals helps create both a harsh distortion and light, airy feeling and results in a sensory overload which perfectly captures the ‘Ambush’ the song is referring to. 

‘Alice’, initially released as a single, is about the titular character and takes on a folky style with eloquent lyricism, such as “My soul is in strife, my pain sharp as a knife”. The track creates vivid imagery of Alice’s confusion in Wonderland and is shown perfectly through the shredding guitar solo- a sort of psychedelic effect. ‘Alice’ takes on a simplistic sound and acts as a beat from the intense musical style that In Search Of has created thus far into the album. 

‘Tea Party’ uses electronic rock to create a dream-like effect and sees In Search Of experiment with a fast tempo in the rhythm and drums in order to create a sense of madness. Whereas ‘Jabberwocky’ sees Raitzin take centre stage, embodying 80’s hair metal and it is this that creates a sense of urgency and danger through a distinct and intricate electric guitar shredding and powerful bass. 

The Red Queen’ introduces the villainous Red Queen and perfectly captures Alice’s trial. Opening with the iconic quote “Off With Her Head”, ‘The Red Queen’ is simple in structure and its main focus is the lyrical content and Ray’s impeccable performance. ‘The Red Queen’ creates suspense and will have listeners on the edge of their seat, questioning what will become of our dearly beloved Alice?

‘Vorpal Sword’ is an intense electronic anthem that perfectly captures the intense sense of adventure that In Search Of has established and though stylistically continues into the tracks ‘Revolt’ and ‘Embattled’. 

‘Farwell’  sounds eerily similar to ‘Intro’ through a similar musical arrangement and melodies. The lyrics capture the end of Alice’s time in Wonderland, for example “My job is done, I love you all but I would like to go. I crave my home” and creates a full circle moment and a satisfying conclusion to a brilliant album. 

In Search Of have created an incredible concept album that will not only appeal to ‘Alice In Wonderland’ fans but also those who are not familiar with the novel. With each listen the more easter eggs are discovered and it is this attention to detail that truly highlights ‘In Search Of’s talent and ability to bring a refreshing take to a classic tale. 

Ana Joy King 


Image ‘Alice And The Wonderland’ Official Album Cover 

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