Produced by Jonatha Brooke and Bob Clearmountain, Careful What You Wish For is a big, ringing bombastic guitar-crunching collection of new songs by Brooke. It has neither the loopy vulnerability of Back in the Circus nor the renegade adventurousness and hunger of Steady Pull. It's obvious that Brooke wanted to rock it up this time out (at times making this set sound more like an Alanis Morisette record wanting to be latter-day Pat Benatar), but the nature of so many of these songs with their cynical bitterness, wry advice, and (too often) more than self-assured point of view lacks focus. It's a collection of 11 new Brooke songs. That's about it. If you're a fan, you may indeed be delighted -- though if you appreciated her softer-sounding records this may indeed put you off. If you favor the big boisterous-sounding pop records of this early part of the 21st century that you can hear on the radio any day of the week, this may appeal to you as well. For everyone else, however, Careful What You Wish For feels more like a swing for the fences. It tries too hard and comes up short. There are a few lovely tunes here, however: the scattershot rock and pop changeup in the title track, the French-language "Je N'Peux Pas Te Plaire" (loosely translated as "You Cannot Like Me"), and the swirling dramatic textures of "Prodigal Daughter" are the strongest things here.
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AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek