When Fox TV canceled Ally McBeal in 2002 and the comedy/drama's star Calista Flockhart moved on to other activities, there was some joking about Vonda Shepard in the music business. Most of the jokes were along these lines: "Oops! What is Vonda McBeal -- I mean Vonda Shepard -- going to do now? Go to law school, perhaps?" (Flockhart's Ally McBeal character was a lawyer). But those jokes were somewhat unfair. It's true that Shepard milked Ally McBeal for all it was worth; she contributed to no less than four Ally McBeal-related albums. However, Shepard was writing worthwhile songs long before Ally McBeal debuted in 1997 -- for Shepard, Ally McBeal was a lucky break that came after a lot of dues-paying -- and she continued to write them long after Ally McBeal's cancellation. Released in 2008 (the year Shepard turned 45), From the Sun comes six years post-Ally McBeal and is one of her most consistent albums. Some of the credit goes to Mitchell Froom, who produced this 34-minute CD and no doubt gave Shepard a lot of constructive feedback. But ultimately, most of the credit goes to Shepard, who wrote all of the material herself. One of the things that makes From the Sun a creative success is Shepard's willingness to provide some R&B-minded songs; her appreciation of classic soul is especially evident on "Ecstatic" and "Downtown (Dirtytown)," although she has never been an R&B singer in the strict sense. Rather, she is a pop
ock singer who occasionally brings R&B-minded songs to an adult alternative/adult contemporary orientation, and pop
ock is clearly the main ingredient on introspective tracks such as "Another January," "Where I Belong," "The Rocky Water," and "Finally Home." Shepard's albums haven't always been consistent, but From the Sun is one of her best releases and finds her in memorable form as both a vocalist and a songwriter.
Performance CreditsVonda Shepard Primary Artist,Piano,Vocals
Matt Chamberlain Percussion,Drums
Mitchell Froom Accordion,Keyboards
Greg Leisz Pedal Steel Guitar
James Ralston Guitar
Suzie Katayama Cello
Technical CreditsVonda Shepard Composer
Mitchell Froom Producer
David Boucher Engineer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I have always loved Vonda Shepherd. Her voice is distinctive, powerful and passionate and her songs grab you by your emotions. Every track on this cd offers beautiful and thought-provoking insights into the soul, and I find myself hitting repeat after each song just so I can take it all in. If you are searching for a true artist, this is the cd for you.