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10 Cent Wings

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Album Review

With the release of 10 Cent Wings, Jonatha Brooke completed the transition from her band the Story to a solo career (after two Story albums and one as "Jonatha Brooke and the Story"). She also made a musical transition from jazzy folk-pop to something much more radio-friendly. Modern rock radio was glutted with female singer-songwriters in the mid-1990s, and it's tempting to believe this record was a deliberate attempt to be the next Sarah McLachlan or Meredith Brooks. Half of the songs are as well-written and catchy as anything this gifted songwriter had released to date — she is a master of melody, and her lyrics have bite and brains. But the middle of the record is a significant disapointment. Her longtime producer, Alain Mallet, has an excellent ear for mimicking other styles. On Brooke's previous records, and on the best of these tracks, Mallet meshes divergent styles the way a painter blends colors to make a unique new shade. Too often on 10 Cent Wings the effect is closer to that of a junk sculpture: Mallet pastes together various genres without meshing them, and often the verses, chorus and bridge each have a radically different style. There are undiluted snatches of Shawn Colvin, Annie Lennox, Portishead, Madonna, Collective Soul, Elton John, Jamiroquai, Amy Grant, the Beatles, and a myriad of others. Mallet's experimetation is often ingenious but rarely inventive. It's not an accident that one of the album's freshest tracks ("Annie") features only Brooke and her acoustic guitar — sometimes restraint is the most creative option.

Customer Reviews

Top 10 All Time

Hyperbole? I don't think so. Jonatha Brooke created a masterpiece back in 1997, and although she has never quite hit the heights of consistent brilliance since, this work stands out as a chilling reminder of the power of music when melodies, lyrics and production come together. Every song is wonderful, but particular standouts include the title song, Secrets and Lies, and Shame on Us. I'll never figure out why this album did not become a massive hit, but that's the music biz, I guess.

Fantastic Album!!

I love this album. Buy it NOW!!

Excellent overlooked classic cd that never got the attention it deserved!

I love this cd. In my opinion, this is the highlight of Jonatha's career. "Crumbs", "Because I Told You So", and "Landmine" are simply perfect, but the rest of the cd is great too. I'm glad to find this on iTunes and hope that more people discover it, even though it's 10 years later!


Born: January 23, 1964 in Illinois

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Singer/songwriter/guitarist Jonatha Brooke began issuing albums that merged folk and pop during the early 1990s, first as a member of a female duo named the Story and later as a solo artist. Brooke formed the Story (originally called "Jonatha & Jennifer" during the duo's early years) along with another vocalist, Jennifer Kimball, who attended Massachusetts' Amherst College with Brooke in the early '80s. Despite playing regular local gigs during their college career, the girls never issued any recordings...
Full Bio