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Heart and Soul (New Songs from Ally McBeal)

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Album Review

Vonda Shepard's curious ascension into pop prominence on the heels of the Ally McBeal television series offers evidence that, if you just hang around Los Angeles long enough, you may finally get recognized. After years of laboring as a lower echelon L.A. rock singer/songwriter and backup singer (a second-rate Bonnie Raitt, one might say), Shepard hit paydirt of a sort playing a club singer on TV, and the quasi-soundtrack album Songs from Ally McBeal, which includes oldies covers from the '60s and '70s, was a million-selling Top Ten hit in 1998. The inevitable follow-up is more of the same, though this time around Shepard gets to pen five of the 14 tracks. On her own, Shepard is not untalented: "Read Your Mind," the lead-off track, is a tentative acceptance of love that might as easily be directed to Shepard's unexpected (and no doubt temporary) new audience as to a new boyfriend; "Confetti" is a '60s-style rocker that seems to be attacking the kind of kids who look to Ally McBeal for fashion and dating tips; and "Baby, Don't You Break My Heart Slow" is a good romantic ballad in the currently popular Diane Warren/adult contemporary style. Such material demonstrates that Shepard is worthy of a major-label release of her own songs, and not just in relation to Ally McBeal.


Born: 07 July 1963 in New York, NY

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Singer/songwriter Vonda Shepard enjoyed one of the more unique career breakthroughs in pop music history; while most performers rely on radio airplay or relentless touring to win fans, Shepard instead shot to fame as a result of the hit television series Ally McBeal, which featured her performing live on an almost weekly basis. Shepard was born in New York City in 1963, but her family relocated to California a few years later; there Shepard studied voice and piano, and was just a teen when she recorded...
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Heart and Soul (New Songs from Ally McBeal), Vonda Shepard
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