Artists | Issues | CD Reviews | Interviews | Concert Reviews | DVD/Video Reviews | Book Reviews | Who We Are | Staff | Home


Alice In Wonderland Featuring Sonja Kristina

Review by Gary Hill

This album was originally released in 1976. That version featured vocals in German. This new release of it, features spoken vocals by Sonja Kristina, in English. The closest comparison musically would be to Rick Wakeman's solo catalog. In fact, the impetus for this album originally was Wakeman's Journey To The Centre Of the Earth album. That said, this does explore other prog zones, most notably calling to mind Emerson, Lake and Palmer at times. Wherever you see the reference points, this is a strong album of melodic progressive rock.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2023  Volume 1. More information and purchase links can be found at:

Track by Track Review
White Rabbit
Dramatic percussion starts this. Keyboards rise up as it continues. That holds this short introductory instrumental piece for its duration.
Gate to Wonderland
Piano gets this one going as it comes out of the previous piece. The spoken vocals come in over the top. The keyboards paint intriguing sounds under that recitation. After Kristina's vocal drops away a killer proggy jam ensues with a full band treatment including flute.
Pond of Tears
We get another spoken section here with just keyboards underneath. Again, beyond that vocal section they bring more of a full band prog treatment.
Old Father's Song
This has some killer prog rock jamming. There is a bit of a twist into rather circus like music mid-track. Then it drops to a mellower soundscape from there. This has a number of twists and turns. It just keeps evolving and growing as it continues. The flute plays a prominent role on this number, too.
Five O'clock Tea
Piano is the sole instrument as this gets underway. The reading comes over the top of that. After the vocals end, the cut works into a full prog jam. Kristina's voice comes in again later over a full band arrangement. This thing works through some killer musical twists and turns along the road. It really feels more like the work of Rick Wakeman than anything else did to this point, but there is also an excursion that seems more ELP-like. The speaking returns later in the track over a more playful jam.
Palace of Wonderland
Feeling like an extension of the previous number, keyboards serve as the backdrop for the spoken reading. The cut gradually grows outward from there after Kristina's voice is gone. There is a bit of a Celtic angle to some of the melodies, but it's a classically tinged symphonic prog arrangement overall. This is another that gets into some ELP-like directions at points. The track works through many modes and variants as it drives onward. At over 12 minutes long, this is the epic of the set. They really make good use of that time, working it through so many intriguing sections.
The Court of the Animals
Mellower music is on display as the backdrop for the reading here. The playful instrumental sections on this at times call to mind Yes. There is a decidedly Jethro Tull-like movement further down the road, though.
Alice's Return
Another reading, backed by piano, brings this cut into being. The powerhouse prog jam that closes this works well. It really does make for a satisfying conclusion to the disc.
Return to the
Neuschwanstein Artist Page
Return to the
Sonja Kristina Artist Page
Artists Directory

   Creative Commons License
   This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.

    © 2024 Music Street Journal                                                                           Site design and programming by Studio Fyra, Inc./