Ally McBeal: For Once in My Life Featuring Vonda Shepard
Ally Mcbeal ~ Ally Mcbeal: For Once In My Lif
On this third installment of the Ally McBeal soundtracks series, featured performer Vonda Shepard delivers another solid collection of emotive blues- and country-inflected power ballads. The surprises here are the three tracks sung by the TV show's guest thespian Robert Downey Jr. If this soundtrack was intended to be a star vehicle, it's a jalopy. Downey's contrived rasp, hardened vocals, and awkward phrasing fail to impress (proving that the elongating line of talented actors with musical aspirations should confine their singing fantasies to the shower). On his dumbed-down duet with Sting on the Police classic "Every Breath You Take," Downey sounds like he's straining to emulate Sting, and Sting approaches the song as a walk-through. Fortunately, Barry White's mirror-ball hit "You're the First, the Last, My Everything" and Tina Turner's anthemic "When the Heartache Is Over" provide some much-needed uptempo relief from the album's sluggish middle section. The collection heads home with Shepard and label newbie Anastacia covering Gary Wright's "Love Is Alive" in dance-floor-lite funk (although it suffers the unfortunate coincidence of being released in proximity to Joan Osborne's superior rendition from One Night at McCool's). The CD closes with Shepard's well-orchestrated interpretation of Todd Rundgren's "Can We Still Be Friends," and Ally McBeal fans, despite the Downey debacle, should be able to answer affirmatively with little hesitation. --Beth Massa
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-Have never purchased a Vonda Shepard cd before
-Enjoy the TV Series Ally McBeal and the music
-Get a kick out of the Bisquit's Unisex dance to Barry White's "You're the First, The Last, My Everything."
-Already own the entire Ally McBeal music collection and
-Enjoy well-produced remakes of long-time favorites
you WILL enjoy this cd. Having seen the episode featuring Sting I can better appreciate the duet with Robert Downey Jr. on "Every Breath You Take". The entire collection of cd's is obviously made for Ally fans, and I feel this latest addition better captures the essence of the show, as well as highlighting Vonda Shepard's powerful voice.
"Snakes", written and performed by Robert Downey Jr., is surprisingly fresh and likeable, reflecting his character on the series. I would enjoy seeing him perform this song on the show...I'll just have to keep watching!
Al Green. Possibly the greatest voice ever in blues and soul (not even considering his fabulous gospel career). Al may have given us the superlative cut of all times of the Bee Gees' "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart?"
Tina Turner and Barry White. Fabulous. Enough said.
Sting...sort of blows through "Every Breath You Take" with help from Robert Downey, Jr., but this, his signature song, is too memorable and tuneful to mind a little lackluster.
The rest. OK.
Advice to Vonda: Don't do Dylan. The Carpenters (Reason to Believe) fit your voice much better. Leave Bob D. to Joan Baez and Emmylou Harris. You won't regret it. Don't let them talk you into having Robert Downey Jr. or any of the actors that come in and out of the cast sing again. Just don't.
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