|| Print ||
|Written by Dahlia Liwsze|
|Tuesday, 24 August 2010 10:48|
Jewel is back with her latest Nashville-influenced album, Sweet and Wild, (her second under the Valory Music label) released this June.
The sophomore country album features 11 tracks that deal with love and life and allow listeners to appreciate Jewel`s non-yodelling vocal side.
According to an editorial review of Sweet and Wild on Amazon.com, Jewel said, "The theme of this album is finding what's true about you and your life, and defending it and valuing it above all else."
The singer, who married her long-time boyfriend, rodeo champion Ty Murray, in August 2008, added: "My newest country album will share so many of my personal feelings of love and happiness that I have written into the songs."
The two best songs on the album include "Fading" and the second single, "Satisfied," which showcase Jewel's soft and beautiful voice. In the former, she paints a picture with lyrics that include "It's Wal-Mart, the bathroom/I'm staring in the mirror/Fluorescent lights are bright/...Hope there's something natural left/Cause I am fading/...The air smells like urine/It's getting hard to breathe..."
A less memorable song is the first single, "Stay Here Forever," which is the perfect stereotypical love song for romantic comedies such as Valentine's Day; it was included on the movie`s soundtrack. Lyrics such as "Hearts don't need to bleed/To know what they're for/There'll be no more broken heartaches/No more heartaches for me/Can't you see" have been done ad nauseam by her predecessors. What may I ask is the difference between heartaches and "broken" heartaches? Other less than stellar songs are "Ten" and "Bad As It Gets," among others.
Jewel proves her artistic merit -- that she is more than a beautiful woman who can sing -- by writing or co-writing most of the songs, except for "Bad As It Gets" (Rachel Proctor, Mike Mobley) as well as producing the album.
However, Billboard reported that Jewel's first country album, Perfectly Clear, was Number One on the Billboard country charts and sold 240,000 copies. Wild and Sweet, her ninth studio album, debuted at Number 11 on the Billboard 200 and Number 3 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart, selling 31,000 copies in its first week. Wild is not as strong as her debut album, Pieces of You, which became one of the best selling debut albums of all time, went platinum 12 times, and featured the hit singles "Who Will Save Your Soul," "You Were Meant for Me" and "Foolish Games." Jewel has sold 27 million albums worldwide, 20 million in the United States alone.
In his June 13, 2010, review of Sweet and Wild for Slant Magazine, Jonathan Keefe wrote: "Perfectly Clear suggested that she (Jewel) has the potential to make a great country album, but the uneven Sweet and Wild certainly isn't it."
I couldn't agree more.