Best Jewel album

Hey There.

For a couple of years I’ve been wanting to learn more about Jewel - she’s not been that big in Europe, but I heard about her - even here on the SDMB.

So which album should I buy?


Jewel does not normally get a lot of respect in the U.S. - IMHO, pretty much deserved. She has a wonderful voice, is reasonably attractive - snaggle tooth and all - when she works at it and can yodel pretty well. But her songs? Meh?

Her first album - with Who Will Save Your Soul on it - was the one that was overly pumped by her label and went big. But she didn’t have the songs to come out with a follow up, or the nervous system to handle the fame.

Then came the poetry.
Then came the dance CD.
Now I think she is hosting Nashville Star.

I wish her nothing but the best, but for thoughtful, mostly acoustic guitar-driven music with female vocals, you’d be a whole lot better off getting something by Emmylou Harris, Neko Case or Lucinda Williams and that’s barely scratching the surface…

Sorry - no question there. Meh. Definitely Meh.

I went with a group of fellow music-inclined friends to see Jewel perform live back in fall 1996, our freshman year of college. It was a free outdoor show that our Student Government put together, the kind of concert where you sit on blankets on the grass on a beautifully cool autumn evening. We didn’t know what to expect, since all we knew from Jewel was this folksy ballad “Who Will Save Your Soul,” that was just starting to get some radio airplay. Well, she turned out to be a real cute little hottie and a very decent live performer, who peppered her set with stories about living in her van, traveling from town to town, washing her hair in the sink in the bathroom at K-Mart, stuff like that. She yodeled and made it sound sexy, and we all fell in love a little bit that night. Most of us ended up getting her debut album, Pieces of You – that was her big breakthrough.

Well, the honeymoon didn’t last. Pieces of You lost its charm after a handful of listenings, and none of her follow-ups were the least bit engaging. She came out with a book of poetry, A Knight Without Armor, that was thoroughly embarrassing, and lost a lot of credibility over it. This was like poetry by angsty middle school girls who loved horses and falling stars, that sort of thing. She had a minor hit a couple years back, the dance-pop tune “Intuition” (accompanied by a video with Jewel in an uncharacteristically glammy, “hoochie” look) and has hardly been heard from since.

I hate to be a hater, but at least you can probably get a copy of *Pieces of You * really cheap from eBay or Amazon Marketplace.

I love her Christmas album. Seriously.

I never read her poems (but I vaguely remember the book coming out) but this was my impression of most of her first album. A couple decent songs that made the radio and a good amount of things that sounded as if they were penned into a 15 year old girl’s notebook.

If you buy an album, go with the Pieces of You debut.