Just a Girl with a Guitar: Jonatha Brooke’s Steady Pull

With her guitar in hand, singer/songwriter Jonatha Brooke tells the world about life through her eyes in her latest release Steady Pull. However, she doesn’t just play acoustic guitar. By mixing instruments like a Polynesian ukulele, a piano, an acoustic guitar, and her rich, lilting voice Brooke presents an album with lots of versatility and appeal.

The first track, “Linger,” sets the pace for the album. The electric guitars invade your speakers with a fresh intro. Brooke keeps up the pace with her vocals; the lyrics are really descriptive too:

“I am walking past sprinklers and the newly painted porches and the lemonade stand girls on a suburban afternoon. I am leaving cuz I love you, I am leaving cuz I don’t and I’m hoping you will follow and I’m praying that you won’t.” In other words, what we have here is a girl who is torn. She is in a relationship that has its great moments and then there are times when it’s not so hot. Brooke deals with this oh-so-typical predicament nicely because of her honest, everyday lyrics.

“Walking” deals with that old idea that if you spend time in someone else’s shoes for a while, you will begin to understand why they are who they are. The drumbeat creates the steady feeling of walking right from the beginning; it persists throughout, giving the song a base to which to return. Brooke displays her vocal range in this song. She takes on a more desperate persona as she tries to understand the owner of the shoes, who has caused her so much grief. She admits to losing faith and grace as she tries to break free from the misery of knowing this person. Lyrically, this song is not really brilliant. The feelings are genuinely expressed, but there are a lot of obvious rhymes and clichés.

The song “Your House” is special not because of what it says but because of how it is said. The instrumentation is based around the steady chords of the acoustic guitar. Jonatha’s voice is light, but mournful. Overall, the piece has a haunting feeling. Apparently, the song is about opening up to someone and sharing your deepest thoughts, with a house being a metaphor for a psychological comfort zone. The minor key and soft delivery give the song a calming feeling. It is a departure from the more upbeat pieces.

“New Dress” makes the best use of metaphors as Jonatha describes the gift of a new dress from her lover as being like a new life. When she is with him, she can peel away the façade that she wears for others. He gives her a fresh outlook on things and makes her feel like she can be more than she is.

Jonatha has high hopes of breaking into the mainstream with Steady Pull. She certainly serves up the variety lyrically and instrumentally. However, whether her sound is fresh and different enough to for her to maintain fame is another question.