Elevate Difference

The Best of Ally McBeal

"I’ve been searchin’ my soul tonight... I know there’s so much more to life..." If you’re starting to hum the theme tune to a certain late-nineties television show about the life of a diminutive lawyer, you’ll understand that this album’s opening track is as much a time capsule as it is a pop song. Everything there was to love (and love to hate) about Ally McBeal is summed up as singer and pianist Vonda Shepard works her way through "Searchin’ My Soul."

Fans will doubtless remember Shepard’s regular appearances at Ally’s local piano bar. As the characters gathered for a post-work tipple, Shepard would use her uncanny ability to sum up their emotional landscape through song.

Some might also remember that, while sometimes hailed as a great leap forward for women on television, Ally McBeal wasn’t completely trouble-free from a feminist perspective (after all, Ally was the character that prompted Time magazine to ask whether feminism might in fact be dead back in 1998).

For those in need of a quick reminder: Ally’s professional concerns were consistently overshadowed by near-crippling neuroticism, flashes of baby mania and a desire for romantic love that often eclipsed the details of whatever case she happened to be working on that episode. Her struggles arguably reflected those of many women looking for success and fulfillment in a male-dominated environment, but the show’s unwillingness to challenge stereotypical representations of women in the workplace was also clear from the start.

The Best of Ally McBeal probably won’t be hailed as a great leap forward for women in music, but it’s safe to say that isn’t its intention. Like Ally, it aims to please and entertain without challenging its audience, and it succeeds. Many listeners will enjoy the balance of light and shade in its track listing, the way each composition builds to a satisfying chorus, and the catchiness of the songs that will have them singing along before they really know the words.

There will doubtless be others listeners, looking for murkier lyrical depths and tougher thematic challenges, who will be lost by the end of track two. Lines like “snow is cold, rain is wet” and repeated instances of rhyming the word “baby” with “maybe” will soon sort the former from the latter.

There’s certainly no faulting Shepard musically. Her vocals are rich and the piano backs her up reliably. At the same time, there’s a slight sense of detachment that comes across on a few tracks. Covers "You Belong to Me" and "Hooked on a Feeling" somehow fall short on impact, and in light of Shepard’s musical prowess it’s tempting to point to the blinding shine of the production as a possible explanation.

All that said, what’s most satisfying about this retrospective collection is how timeless these songs actually are (bar "Searchin’ My Soul," which never really stood a chance after the first episode of Ally went to air). Stand-outs are the subdued yet soulful "The Wildest Times of the World," "Maryland," and "Baby, Don’t You Break My Heart Slow" along with rousing versions of "It’s in His Kiss" and "Tell Him"—toe tapping non-negotiable.

So if you think there’s a “best of” to be found in Ally’s world, this album delivers. All that’s missing is the scene where the snowflakes fall on the woman walking dreamily through the city streets after a hard day’s litigation.

Written by: Alice Allan, March 6th 2010

Itˇs really a cool and helpful piece of info. Iˇm glad that you shared this helpful information with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thanks for sharing. ナイキ インターナショナリスト コーデ [url=http://www.maxars.com/seare.asp?pid=407569.html]ナイキ インターナショナリスト コーデ[/url]

Hi, constantly i used to check blog posts here in the early hours in the morning, because i enjoy to gain knowledge of more and more. adidas.se [url=http://www.cfast.se/samu.asp?set=adidas-se]adidas.se[/url]

Hi, I read your new stuff regularly. Your humoristic style is awesome, keep doing what you're doing! christian louboutin shoes sale online [url=http://www.snobben.nu/pris.asp?mell=christian-louboutin-shoes-sale-online]christian louboutin shoes sale online[/url]

There is perceptibly a bundle to know about this. I believe you made some nice points in features also. billige jordan 11 price [url=http://www.beinstall.com/shop_20716589.html]billige jordan 11 price[/url]

Great delivery. Great arguments. Keep up the good effort. rea ralph lauren [url=http://www.chemoexpress.com/pony.asp?gravi=rea-ralph-lauren]rea ralph lauren[/url]

Very well written article. It will be valuable to anyone who employess it, including myself. Keep doing what you are doing - for sure i will check out more posts. ralph lauren parfym dam 2 [url=http://www.ludvikaclassicwheels.se/dan.asp?mik=id-265]ralph lauren parfym dam 2[/url]

I think this is one of the most important info for me. And i'm glad reading your article. But wanna remark on some general things, The site style is great, the articles is really nice : D. Good job, cheers Billige tilbud Nike Free [url=http://www.divorcemediation.ca/images/shop.asp?id=item_07946832.html]Billige tilbud Nike Free[/url]

wonderful publish, very informative. I ponder why the other experts of this sector don't understand this. You must proceed your writing. I am sure, you have a huge readers' base already! timberland chelsea stormbuck [url=http://www.joerglbauer.com/feld.asp?glb=timberland-chelsea-stormbuck]timberland chelsea stormbuck[/url]

Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with some pics to drive the message home a bit, but instead of that, this is great blog. A great read. I'll definitely be back. ナイキ 店舗 原宿 [url=http://www.aima.com.tr/shop_56380714.html]ナイキ 店舗 原宿[/url]

It is appropriate time to make some plans for the future and it's time to be happy. I've read this post and if I could I wish to suggest you some interesting things or advice. Maybe you can write next articles referring to this article. I want to read even more things about it! polo ralph lauren jacka herr [url=http://www.soderbygolf.se/hittar.asp?dupa=polo-ralph-lauren-jacka-herr]polo ralph lauren jacka herr[/url]

Wonderful work! That is the kind of info that are meant to be shared across the web. Disgrace on the search engines for now not positioning this put up higher! Come on over and discuss with my web site . Thank you =) billige jordan release on black [url=http://www.rogerdelauria.com/item_19847563.html]billige jordan release on black[/url]

Whats Taking place i'm new to this, I stumbled upon this I have discovered It absolutely helpful and it has aided me out loads. I am hoping to contribute & help different customers like its aided me. Good job. billige nike jordan men's air [url=http://nurkowanie.katowice.pl/item_36271985.html]billige nike jordan men's air[/url]

Iˇll right away clutch your rss feed as I can not to find your e-mail subscription hyperlink or newsletter service. Do you have any? Please let me understand so that I may subscribe. Thanks. Billige udsalg Nike Free [url=http://www.helikon.dk/contents.cfm?id=item_06145978.html]Billige udsalg Nike Free[/url]

I actually wanted to type a simple note to say thanks to you for the lovely tricks you are showing at this site. My extensive internet search has finally been paid with awesome facts to talk about with my pals. I would mention that many of us readers are undoubtedly blessed to dwell in a good network with many perfect individuals with insightful tips and hints. I feel pretty grateful to have used the webpages and look forward to some more brilliant minutes reading here. Thank you once more for all the details. fotbollsskor dam [url=http://www.nutidpckassapckassa.se/frie.asp?bird=fotbollsskor-dam]fotbollsskor dam[/url]

Great delivery. Sound arguments. Keep up the amazing spirit. billige nike jordan elements jacket [url=http://kskagri.org/shopid_42079536.html]billige nike jordan elements jacket[/url]

Useful info. Fortunate me I found your site by accident, and I'm surprised why this coincidence didn't took place earlier! I bookmarked it. cheap oakley sunglasses rea [url=http://www.kd-cresnjevci.si/visoko.asp?KD=cheap-oakley-sunglasses-rea]cheap oakley sunglasses rea[/url]

Hey there, You've done an incredible job. I'll certainly digg it and personally suggest to my friends. I'm sure they will be benefited from this website. isabel marant skor storlek [url=http://trapatronernainorr.se/roner.asp?isa=isabel-marant-skor-storlek]isabel marant skor storlek[/url]

hey there and thank you for your info ?I certainly picked up anything new from right here. I did however expertise some technical points using this web site, as I experienced to reload the website a lot of times previous to I could get it to load properly. I had been wondering if your web host is OK? Not that I'm complaining, but sluggish loading instances times will often affect your placement in google and can damage your quality score if ads and marketing with Adwords. Anyway I adding this RSS to my email and can look out for much more of your respective exciting content. Ensure that you update this again soon.. oakleys julbord [url=http://www.riobodyguards.com/gog.asp?bun=oakleys-julbord]oakleys julbord[/url]

I must express thanks to you just for rescuing me from this type of instance. Just after looking out throughout the world-wide-web and getting principles which were not pleasant, I assumed my entire life was well over. Existing devoid of the strategies to the issues you have sorted out all through your main short post is a serious case, as well as the kind which could have in a wrong way damaged my entire career if I had not discovered your blog. Your actual talents and kindness in dealing with all things was very useful. I am not sure what I would've done if I had not encountered such a subject like this. I can also at this point relish my future. Thanks a lot very much for this specialized and sensible help. I will not be reluctant to recommend the website to anyone who needs and wants guidance about this issue. ナイキ 新作 スニーカー [url=http://squawkthetalk.info/shop_69507283.html]ナイキ 新作 スニーカー[/url]

We're a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community. Your web site offered us with valuable info to work on. You have done a formidable job and our entire community will be grateful to you. ralph lauren mellandagsrea [url=http://www.pharmachem.si/achem.asp?pha=ralph-lauren-mellandagsrea]ralph lauren mellandagsrea[/url]

Wow, awesome blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your web site is fantastic, let alone the content! ナイキ バスケットボール [url=http://squawkthetalk.info/shop_52160483.html]ナイキ バスケットボール[/url]

Very good written post. It will be helpful to anyone who utilizes it, including myself. Keep up the good work - for sure i will check out more posts. oakley flight deck prizm rea [url=http://www.utvarderarna.se/files.asp?all=oakley-flight-deck-prizm-rea]oakley flight deck prizm rea[/url]

Today, I went to the beach with my kids. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said "You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear." She placed the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is entirely off topic but I had to tell someone!

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.

More information about formatting options

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.