With a rich voice that seems to drip with experience, she lets songs flow out of her much like the way Bonnie Raitt does. And like Raitt, her musical compass leads her on a wide-open journey.
On her CD, "What Is My Heart For," Brooks touches upon rock, folk, blues and jazz. She offers a beautiful version of "Whiter Shade of Pale," an inspired cover of the Beatles’ "Blackbird" and just when you think you got her figured there's the Nat King Cole song "Nature Boy."
On the album, she is accompanied by percussionist Woodrow Williams and master guitarist Joe Beck, who has played with Miles, Sinatra and a long list of others. While small in number, the group is a solid team that manages to make each song sound complete.
The songs were essentially recorded "live" in one take, and there’s little overdubbing. As a result, the music is intimate and straightforward. The approach fits Brooks’ rootsy style.
Listeners will recognize most of the songs on the CD, but the high point is the little known "Resurrection Day," a gentle pop song written by Paul Thorn, a one-time professional boxer. Brooks wraps her lilting alto voice around the words and doesn't let go. Less successful is a forgettable cover of Sting’s "Fragile." But, overall, Brooks offers a varied and entertaining album.
"What is My Heart For" is recommended.