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Victoria Justice, ‘Almost Paradise’ (From the ‘Footloose’ Soundtrack) – Song Review

Victoria Justice
Larry Busacca, Getty Images

A remake of the 1984 film ‘Footloose’ is coming back to theaters, and so are many of the hit songs from its soundtrack, like the ballad ‘Almost Paradise,’ which has been recorded by teen pop star Victoria Justice with young country singer Hunter Hayes.

Mike Reno of Loverboy and Ann Wilson of Heart performed the original ‘Almost Paradise’ in 1984 and took the song to the Top 10, so the new version has a hard act to follow, and it doesn’t quite measure up.

The remake features stronger guitars and subtle programmed beats, but otherwise the song sounds basically the same. The performers harmonize on the chorus, “Almost paradise, we’re knocking on Heaven’s door / Almost paradise,  how could we ask for more? / I swear that I can see forever in your eyes / Paradise.”

Hayes has quite the pedigree, having received CMT’s ‘Next Big Thing’ honor earlier this year. He and Justice deliver a competent cover, but Justice’s flat vocals lack the obvious emotion Wilson brought to the original. ‘Almost Paradise’ is still a pretty song, but the new version isn’t one we’ll be rushing to play over and over.

The new ‘Footloose’ film hits theaters on Oct. 14. The soundtrack drops on Sept. 27 and also includes songs by Cee Lo Green and Blake Shelton.

Listen to Victoria Justice and Hunter Hayes, ‘Almost Paradise’

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