Chris Vrenna American McGee's Alice

Ex-Nine Inch Nails member Chris Vrenna soundtracks a grizzly version of Lewis Carroll's classic, one where our heroine wanders through Wonderland with a very large carving knife hacking, slicing and stabbing her way to the Queen. Vrenna utilises the full effect of his synthesisers, creating string and wind instrument arrangements liberally accompanied with samples of various mechanical sounds. The synths have a very nice sound that could fool a listener into thinking that (s)he was listening to an orchestral score. Throughout the CD, one can hear Alice speaking in congenial yet morbidly humorous innuendo. The Alice depicted on the cover is no longer the innocent prepubescent damsel, as depicted by the classic Carroll editions, or Walt Disney, rather this Alice sports knee-high goth boots and wears a bloodstained blue dress on a more mature yet deceptively frail looking frame. Since soundtracks like Wipeout X-cel and Quake have brought big talent to computer game scores, expect more of the same in the future. Alice is a darkly cute, if not a little disturbing. (Six Degrees)