[12 February 2001]
For more than a decade, singer / songwriter Jonatha Brooke has been standing her ground on the music scene, and she is sure to keep her legions of fans satisfied with her latest release Steady Pull. Brooke releases her latest CD on her own record label Bad Dog Records on February 13.
Steady Pull is full of catchy tunes, strong choruses, and interesting melodies that stick in your head. If the whole CD was as well-written and catchy as the first track, “Linger”, this CD could put Brooke over the top (that is, in terms of radio play and commercial success).
A strong point of Steady Pull is the singer’s evocative voice that winds and soars through all 12 songs. Most of the songs display rock- and funk-inspired rhythms, but it is certainly nothing you haven’t heard before. If you are feeling a little moody or down in the dumps, or perhaps you are cleaning the house, then this is a choice CD to turn up.
After listening to the CD a few times, it becomes apparent that the music is not that exciting and the vocals a bit whiny. The mood of the album is a bit unmoving with the general theme of love and confusion prevailing, making it reminiscent of coffeehouse music with a more upscale and full sound. Steady Pull is evidence that Brooke is a seasoned veteran, with each song chock full of a steady mix of instruments, rhythms, and vocal tracks spiced up with textured layering.
Throughout the sound is comparable to Alanis Morrisette’s music; perhaps it is the minor keys intertwined with heart wrenching vocals and moody piano. The tempo picks up and the overall listening experience becomes more enjoyable as Brooke lets loose on “Out of Your Mind”. The song is fun and adds backbone to Brooke’s depth as a viable songwriter. “Look at you / You’re out of your mind again / It’s nothing new your one of a kind / You take the cake,” sings Brooke. What better way to interest the listener than to sing about other peoples minds anyway?
After hearing “Out of Your Mind” you naturally want more, but what you get is two slow songs—very lovely—but definitely slow. My co-worker actually threw something across the room in a failed effort to stop the CD.
Brooke co-produced Steady Pull and has a strong discography to attract new fans while satisfying the old with this new release. There is no question that Brooke is a talented musician with a lot to offer, as a leader, musician and performer she is worth a listen.