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Ally McBeal: A Very Ally Christmas
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Ally McBeal has dominated television for three years, so why not a Christmas album for fans who number 20 million or more? Truth be told, this is really a Vonda Shepard record (she's Ally's TV singing voice), with a little help from the McBeal cast, including Ally (née Calista Flockhart), who successfully tries on Eartha Kitt's silly, sassy, seductive "Santa Baby." With 14 tracks and Macy Gray's distinctive "Winter Wonderland" included, the album covers lots of turf, as Shepard and company cover hymns and carols that are sparsely arranged and appealing for their soulful simplicity. Shepard's soprano talent continues to reveal its many riches. Here's a singer who's at home in a gut-bucket blues tune such as "Please Come Home for Christmas" and strolling down Broadway, joyfully swinging on "The Man with the Bag." Additional surprises include Shepard's duet with Robert Downey Jr. on "White Christmas" and Joni Mitchell's "River." Recommended. --Martin Keller
Top Customer Reviews
Diehard fans of the show will want the CD just for Vonda Shepard's soulful takes on the traditional holiday classics. My two bummers with the CD and the reason I didn't give it 5 stars was I (and I'm probably in the minority here) felt the Macy Gray track was so out of place.It sounds like Louis Armstrong, does Xmas. The second reason is at thirty seven minutes, the disc is way too short. There should be at least twenty more minutes of holiday cheer. Well, maybe I just didn't want it to end.
Anyway, the whole album is nice, with a good mix of up tempo stuff and more sentimental (in a good way) numbers. (Although I personally would have loved to hear more by RDJ.) I figured I would probably never admit to anyone that I bought it, but I think I'll take it for Thanksgiving and our annual 12 hour or so Christmas music marathon.