Leeds Music Scene

0304 by Jewel

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Reviewed on 1st September 2003.



By Jewel

On first hearing that Jewel had recorded a Pop album it seemed a strange move. This down to earth, cowboy dating, sensitive poet ditching her acoustic guitar in favour of a beat box? Thinking about it further it makes more sense. Miss Kilcher is stunningly attractive, her gentle voice is well suited to the pop arena and her last album was slightly more pop orientated with samples and loops. That previous long player didn't seem too much of a departure from Jewel's first two albums at the time but now it seems a clear bridge to this latest offering (new tune "2 Find U" sounds quite similar to "Standing Still"). According to the sleeve notes this is the album Jewel has wanted to make for a long time and has had to battle with her label to get it released. After listening any doubts as to whether it was a smart move or not are swiftly swept aside. With all the pop trimming present; sexy cover shot, titles written text message style ("Yes U Can", "Run 2 U") and a collaboration with Guy Chambers, Jewel still maintains a deep lyrical content. And why not? It works. We get some fine tunes and grooves (man of the moment in the drum world Abe Laboriel Jr providing the beats) and catchy choruses that are easy to sing along to but Jewel still takes the time to explore the state of her nation and get some things off her chest ("America), comment on society ("Stand") and make heartfelt expressions of love ("Fragile Heart" - which contains the best whistling in a song since The Scorpion's Wind of Change!).

First single "Intuition" opens with a French accordion motif and the song never stops with more hooks than a Peter Pan convention. Each and every tune here is strong and Jewel switches her voice easily between sassy songstress to baby doll pop starlet with ease. With strong tunes, a great voice and damn fine looks, Jewel could soon have Miss Minogue shitting bricks out of that perky little arse!



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