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Jewel Does Madonna

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Yea, I’d like to see that too…but that’s not today’s topic.

Yesterday, I borrowed a copy of Jewel’s 0304 from my sister. Having heard not a single note from this record (but having read lotsa reviews) I figured, well, can it really be that different?

Yep, it is.

One question: what the hell happened? It sounds like a Madonna imitation. A bad one. Icky.

To make things worse, my car is in the shop…so I was listening to this stuff while driving through the subdivisions in my rented suburban-assault-yet-soccer-momish Pontiac Vibe. Help!

So I got to work and immediately popped an antidote into the my computer: Bikini Kill’s The CD Version Of The First Two Records….to cleanse the palette, so to speak. There’s nothing like all that screaming lovingly accenting a bit of “Give Peace A Chance” (“Liar”).

(First posted on Mark Is Cranky)

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About Mark Saleski

  • I wrote a review about this a while back. I’d agree with Tom in that it was well done, only difference is that I enjoy the album.

    Also, to say that it is completely different from her other albums is a stretch. The entire middle collection of songs sticks to the tried and true acoustic pop sound that she’s become famous for. As I’ve said before, 2 Find U sounds like a direct sampling of Standing Still

  • Jewel mixed with David Torn could be very interesting.

  • Yeah, that is pretty bad. Lyrics are generally secondary to me too, but for some reason I thought they worked okay in this instance. Perhaps I wasn’t listening closely enough . . . the lyrics you cite are terrible. But again I do put up the defense that she actually was doing much of this for effect – I know the song titles are her little homage to 80s Prince-derived number-speak. I guess I’m trying to say that I’d rather someone spend their money on someone like Jewel than J-Lo, Britney, etc. I feel there’s at least some inkling of artistic intent behind Jewel’s work on this album.

    Maybe someday Jewel will release the artsy work she began after her first album (before it became a hit) with David Torn and others (yes, I kid not.) He reported that they’d nearly completed the album when she suddenly got big after languishing in obscurity for over a year, and her manager/publicist/whatever convinced her to shelve that decidedly chart unfriendly direction for more of the same twee acoustic warblings we know her for. Somewhere, out there, there sits a bunch of recordings that might have proved her artistic mettle. As it is, she’s just harmless pop . . .

  • i guess lyrics are secondary to me. if the music’s not doin’ it then the words just don’t matter.

    i’ve gotta say though, that the lyrics to “Fragile Heart” were pretty bad:

    If u want my heart
    U have 2 promise not 2 tear it apart
    ‘Cause my heart
    Has been hurt a lot

  • This is probably going to sound insane coming from me, but I think she actually pulled this off quite well. Out of curiosity, I tracked down mp3s of this album to check out (I’m not going to plunk down the money on something I’m simply curious about – should I actually enjoy it, I’d run right down to the record store that offers it for a decent price.) I found that she handled the change to dance music quite well, in that she seemed to be going at it not only with the idea to have fun but with tongue firmly in cheek. From interviews I have seen before and since hearing it, she is well aware that it’s throwing some fans for a loop, and is also aware of the dangerous specter of “sell out” that hangs over her head with this one. Essentially, the songs themselves aren’t drastically different – it’s just the way the music is crafted that’s so different. I actually think this works a lot better for her in many cases than the quickly growing stale melodrama of her acoustic works. She needed to make a drastic change. Where Jewel’s lyrics tended to be rather laughable high-school poetry in her acoustic work, it tends to sound much stronger backed by beats and electronics – in this context, she’s surprisingly deep.

    Did I *like* it? I respect it. It’s not something I would listen to outside of the curiosity I had, but it’s certainly much better than most of what passes for pop music these days. At the very least, it’s intelligent. But I won’t be adding it to my collection – but I wouldn’t be adding anything like this to my collection, it’s just not my thing. But I can develop some appreciation for this kind of music when it’s well done, and in this case I think it is.