CD, Storming Records/National Records, 2005
Much as I instinctively love Alice In Videoland’s brand of bubblegum-ish electropunk-pop, with its youthful sassy attitude and fast-pace, I can’t help but feel a bit cheated with “Outrageous!” the follow-up to “Maiden Voyage”, their debut album. Quite simply put, because of the duration: a ten-track album lasting a bit over half an hour seems rather steep, price-wise. They could have sweetened the deal with a video track or something…
Putting it bluntly, Alice In Videoland are masters of the three-minute pop song (that thing ABBA developed into an art form) and they definitely seem to be at their best in the short-song structure, not wasting time and cutting straight to the chase in their songs. Enthusiastic, with impeccable professional composition and very good vocals (processed as they may be) and excellent production work, each and every of the tracks in “Outrageous!” is catchy as hell and most of them are sure-fire hits.
Unsurprisingly, since they are writen by the singer, Toril Lindqvist, the lyrics and their delivery suit the music like a glove. While not exactly deep and meaningful, they aren’t brainless either and add even more to the catchyness of the songs. Tracks like the opening “Ladykiller”, “Bad Boy” and “Cut The Crap” are sure to stick to one’s ears.
The 80’s references in Alice In Videoland’s music are quite obvious. From the synth legends Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, Human League to the bubblegum of Bananarama and the rebellious and daring spirit of Nina Hagen and Madonna, it’s all in “Outrageous!”. The music is essentially a destilate of that decade but Alice In Videoland pull it off with skill and talent of their own adding enough energy that their enthusiastic pop manages sound to quite fresh.
“Outrageous!” definitely isn’t a masterpiece (and bubblegum electropunk-pop may not be everyone’s cup of tea) but it is nevertheless an accomplished enthusiastic album that is worth checking out, especially by those that would like a bit of fun or might appreciate a “contemporary 80’s” sound. As mentioned, the only serious caveat is the short duration of “Outrageous!” (which in this age of rampant piracy doesn’t help in selling an album).
— Miguel de Sousa