Wolf dressed as the kitten next door!
A Brokenheart Pro is not a band but a showcase for the musical talents of singer/songwriter/musician/superheroin Jeanette Kantzalis, a lass from California, who wrote and performed the full album herself playing each instrument with perfection and precision.
Upon first listen it’s easy to think this album a mixture of 90’s self-proclaimed bitch Meredith Brooks, Dancehall Crashers and Horrorpops, however there is something a little bit dark within the songs on, ‘The Kitten Next Door’, and this album could just as easily be a soundtrack to a road movie winding around roads of emotion, and never quite knowing what is coming next around each hairpin bend.
First song, ‘Dark Red And Loud’ starts off with the underlining mix of rockabilly and 50’s influenced rock’n’roll. It’s a gentle song that wakes up a deep and poetic beauty in us all, and whilst there is the softness of Katie Melua, this is also contrasted with a flash of Tori Amos-ism, which is to say that it’s slightly kooky and weird. Let’s make no mistake about it this is a good thing!
‘You Don’t Know’ has a great melodic guitar lick and lyrics that show Jeanette has that rock chick groove that is not afraid to say what’s on her mind like Alanis Morrisette on her ground breaking, ‘Jagged Little Pill’ album. In this song she sings, “You don’t know how fucking you has made me feel // you released me from my silky skin of steel // I’m not afraid of my reflection // I’m not ashamed of what you see…” This is carried on further on the greatly titled, ‘Charming Fucker’ that again has some majestically poignant lyrics of, “His backlit silhouette’s filled with tales // glowing of charming fuckers // He’s a charming fucker himself, ya know?” It’s easy to see that whether it’s under the guise of, A Brokenheart Pro, or with pen and paper in a world of poetic clarity, Jeanette can spin the feelings of mankind into jittering sentences that dance from the page into your soul, and that sometimes takes some doing, folks.
Title track, ‘Kitten Next Door’ is one of the most accessible songs here with a nice rock guitar riff, and a catchy melody through the lyrics that makes this song one of those that you will hum all day long. Things turn back to visions of a 50’s movie starlet with the beautiful tune of, ‘Keep This Devil Down’. With a piano tingling keys in what almost borders on haunting, and Jeanette’s voice that is so sweet that her lips must’ve been sticky with each uttered word, it is a song that ignites an atmosphere that is slightly gothic. Great stuff.
There are more dark lyrics in, ‘Sometimes Saviours End Up On Their Knees’ that is a little like the song before but with a fuzz box guitar as the back bone, and the vocals have slightly more balls to them as we hear, “Don’t worry about the girl with the brokenheart locket // with 5 mascara stained poems in her pocket // she doesn’t know his question // but the answers always yeah…” this is an album that could be played in a dark room with a handful of candles flickering with the beat.
‘Bleed On’ is a trashy track that is a little like Peaches, crossed with some Alice Cooper, amongst the softer tracks it’s almost the hooker amongst the school girls, if of course the school girls weren’t already tainted and destined for a life of rebellion. ‘Deep Suburban Joy’ is a slow plod of a song with strings and slow blues drum beats, whilst we then have a cover of Ryan Adams’ song, ‘Hard Way To Fall’ (originally from his 2005 album ‘Jacksonville City Nights’) which adds a Country slant to the album, before we have the acoustic folk styled song of, ‘Pink Mischief’. The last song is a cover of The Killers’ song ‘Bling (Confessions Of A King)’, which some might consider an interesting choice of song to cover, but finishes the album off with a gentle glide through the clouds, before we come back down to earth and our own mundane lives.
This is a great album for those of you who enjoy a good ballsy female vocalist that can do both sweet and sexy, as well as mean and mistress. Sometimes Jeannette’s vocals, when blasting loud and high, give me the feeling that she needs to give a little bit more oomph, but these are few and far between. She is without doubt a born poet who could lay down songs daily and most likely release an album every few months.
Even with morbid and twisted lyrics the music will caress you giving you an album for the summer from a pin up rock chic that would be at home with milkshakes, hot rods, drive-in movies and jukeboxes! That’s groovy, mama!