The good news is that Vonda Shepard's last album has sold nearly 4 million copies worldwide. The bad news is that some people probably thought they were buying a record by TV lawyer Ally McBeal.

Singer-songwriter Shepard plays a nightclub singer -- whose songs represent ``Ally's subconscious'' -- in the Emmy-winning series ``Ally McBeal.'' She was a musician before the show, however, and is sworn to continue her career alongside the program.

And with the success of the ``Songs from 'Ally McBeal''' album, Shepard is confident that listeners are beginning to separate her from the show.

``I think they figured it out pretty quickly,'' says Shepard, 35, who lives in Los Angeles. ``It's still very much connected with the show, but what I found is people are seeking out my older albums, too.''

They have a new one to pick up as well. ``By 7:30'' contains 13 songs that ruminate on an unrequited love interest, including the track ``Baby Don't You Break My Heart Slow,'' a duet with the Indigo Girls' Emily Saliers.

Shepard describes this latest album as ``much more representative'' of her own personality. And she opted to release it on her own Jacket Records, even though there were offers from major labels in the wake of the ``Ally McBeal'' album's success.

``I felt like they were not coming from a place of deep understanding of me as an artist -- that's the kindest way to put it,'' says Shepard, who will tour during ``Ally McBeal's'' summer break.