It isn't often that a television series is better known for the music it
features than for the stories that were told in its episodes. For some people,
myself included, the great versions of well-chosen 'sixties songs and other
selections featured on SONGS FROM ALLY McBEAL Featuring VONDA SHEPARD create
a sort of instant nostalgia, as communicated through Shepard's soulful,
Quite a while ago, I caught a few snippets of ALLY McBEALon television but never
watched a single episode of the show. However, I did notice the strong presence of
melody and song in the bits and pieces I viewed. When the box set for the series
came out,I ordered it just so I could someday appreciate the music it contained.
That viewing ans listening project hasn't happened yet, but in the meantime, SONGS
FROM ALLY McBEAL does just fine as a condensed introduction to Vonda Shepard and
what she brought to the soundtrack for Calista Flockhart's popular program.
There are bittersweet memories at the heart of many of the selections on SONGS
FROM ALLY McBEAL. First-rate versions of ballads about romantic regret include
Walk Away Renee, Ask the Lonely, You Belong to Me and The End of the World. These
more ot less set the tone for the whole album. Of the upbeat songs, Hooked
on a Feeling seems to work best, while a slowed-down adaptation of the Dusty Springfield
favourite I Only Want to Be With You is quite moving.
Some of Vonda Shepard's own songs make it onto SONGS FROM ALLY McBEAL, and several
of them are very good indeed. Her composition Searchin' My Soul kicks off the SONGS
FROM ALLY McBEAL album and another original--a beautiful, reflective ballad called
Maryland--wraps it up.