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Back in the Circus

3.6 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Jonatha Brooke ~ Back In The Circus
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 24, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Verve
  • ASIN: B0001ADBCI
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #166,921 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I've been listening to Jonatha Brooke since her early days with Jennifer Kimball in "The Story." Her songwriting continues to impress as does her ability to deliver passion behind the lyrics. The writing is especially strong in "Sleeping with the light on," "Less than love is nothing," and "Sally."

So far, my favorite song on this album, though, is one that she didn't write. I absolutely love her cover of the Alan Parsons Project song, "Eye in the Sky." In fact, the first time I played it, I kept skipping backward to hear it again. I liked the original a lot, but I think her version adds so much more emotion, depth, and sadness. I wasn't as fond of her "Fire and Rain" remake or her remake of "God Only Knows," but both are growing on me and it was fun to hear her take on two classic songs. In fact, I appreciate the entire album more as I listen to it again and again.

Still, her live album remains my favorite solo Jonatha album. It's a better taste of her singing and playing the guitar, rather than the remixed feel of some of the songs on this album and on "Steady Pull." For new listeners, I would recommend buying the live album first and checking out "West Point," "Because I told you so," and "Blood from a Stone." She remains great and I hope she will continue to put out great albums.
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By Lisa DJ on June 29, 2004
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I so wanted this album to be better. Don't get me wrong. Jonatha is one of the most premiere female singer/songwriters out there, but she is capable of so much more. I just found this album on the shallow side with none of the soul evident in some of her past albums. "Everything I Wanted" seems to be the best song on the album and it could have been mined directly from Plumb, her best album, btw. Strong bass riffs with emotion are what are needed here, not more techno synth ala EBTG. I saw EBTG when they actually played instruments and jazz in 1985, but now they are "house" and bland. I don't want Jonatha to go that way. She has been one of my favorite artists for so long. Maybe it's just hard to write strong songs with soul such as "Room in my Heart", "10cent Wings", "Nothing Sacred", "Made of Gold", and "No Better". There are so few artists that can achieve that level of depth and soul in their songs, I just wish there was more of it on this album.
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Format: Audio CD
Jonatha's voice is still gorgeous, and her songwriting still great, but this is a bit of a departure for her - more intimate small-band arrangements, led by Hammond-organ sound. It does sound almost like she is jumping on the Norah Jones bandwagon, though I'm sure that wasn't her intent. The original songs here are pleasant enough, but not a single one stands out, and they seem devoid of much of the energy of her previous work. Ironically, probably the best song on the CD is her cover of Alan Parsons' "Eye in the Sky". Her cover of "God Only Knows" is fine too, but "Fire and Rain" is a real misstep. (One thing the booklet photos establish, though: she's got great legs!) Unfortunately, my reaction to this release is a shrug and a "so-what?" If you want to hear an exceptional album from Ms. Brooke, try "10-cent Wings" - I miss the bombast and killer arrangements of that album.
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Format: Audio CD
I must admit that I have been a bit dismayed by some of the disappointed reviews from self-admitted Jonatha Brooke veterans here on this wonderful piece of work. True, she relies more on electronically programmed music on this album, but that merely changes the perspective from which you hear her beautiful voice and her insightful lyrics. Phrases like "My timing is clear, and I'll never fear, I'll swing until there's no net below...." this is a wonderful affirmation of a life attitude that reflects her maturity not only as an artist, but as a person in general. She has lost NONE of her genius here. For those who are disappointed, I say: listen again. And again. You WILL get it!!
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Format: Audio CD
Jonatha Brooke has been one of my favorite artist in the last

5 years. BACK IN THE CIRCUS comes way shy of her two previous

efforts 10 CENT WINGS and STEADY PULL. Although as a fan I can

enjoy this album it is best to put this one at the bottom of

the list of best choices. I personally don't like the idea of

doing old hits in her versions. Shes is just too good of a

songwriter to go so heavy on her versions of the old.
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Format: Audio CD
and this journey "Back In The Circus" gives Jonatha another chance to shine on. The girl's in love with living and experiencing the sometimes not-so-vibrant truth of everyday life.
While lacking the rocking vibes of "Steady Pull," "Circus" offers some revamped covers of materials that lend themselves well to Johatha's personality.
"God Only Knows" isn't the vibrant mix of Brian Wilson's vision but works beautifully at getting the point across.
The same is true of "Fire and Rain." Her cover of "Eye In The Sky" is probably the truest to original stylings, but it's the orignal works that still make me happy the world has Jonatha Brooke to call it's own.
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