68: Pieces of You (Jewel)

Album: Pieces of You
Artist: Jewel
Year: 1995

1. Who Will Save Your Soul
2. Pieces of You
3. Little Sister
4. Foolish Games
5. Near You Always
6. Painters
7. Morning Song
8. Adrian
9. I’m Sensitive
10. You Were Meant For Me
11. Don’t
12. Daddy
13. Angel Standing By
14. Amen

If you thought yesterday’s album was pretentious…

Jewel Kilcher was 21 when this album was released, and it’s obvious at times. I wrote a lot of poetry in high school, and some of it sounds a lot like what she’s done here. And you certainly wouldn’t want to put my poetry to music. Daddy is the worst example. It’s about child abuse and is more or less breathing anger for a few minutes. Pieces of You is another example of a teenager’s way of saying no to prejudice, but at least it’s easier to listen to. I fondly remember playing it on a jukebox at a billiards hall, just because it’s a stupid song to play billiards to.

But it’s also obvious that there is talent here. Her first two singles, unfortunately, turned off a lot of possible fans by sounding whiny. Who Will Save Your Soul and You Were Meant For Me are decent songs, but they were overplayed and they’re not the best examples of Jewel’s voice. Foolish Games is what reeled me in, especially when I heard the album track, which resonates more than the overproduced radio version.

Painters is the one “music to poetry” song of hers that I really enjoy, partly because her voice is good and partly because it’s a pretty darn good poem. Adrian has also grown on me over the years, a song about a childhood friend that falls into a coma after an accident. It’s wretchedly sad, though not really a sing-a-longer.

The end of this album really weakens it. I’ve already discussed Daddy, and the other three songs, while inoffensive, really add nothing. If this were a ten song album, it would likely rank in my top fifty.

10 thoughts on “68: Pieces of You (Jewel)”

  1. There is a radio edit for You Were Meant For Me which I like a bit more. The vocals have been smoothed out a bit more and makes the whole song sound cleaner.

    1. Thanks for mentioning this. That is the one radio edit of hers that is actually better than the original. The worst is Jupiter. A beautiful song, completely destroyed with the edit.

  2. I bought the cassette single of “Who Will Save Your Soul” when it first came out.

    I can’t explain why I did that.

  3. My brother was obsessed with this disc when it came out, particularly “Adrian.” He’d listen to it six or seven times in a row, and it’s a six or seven-minute song, so…

    I liked Jewel just fine until she went into full-on sellout mode in about…2000 or a couple of years later? I remember a song and video she had that was ostensibly making fun of vapid pop, but she was essentially cashing in on it, because the song itself could have been ripped right from one of the artists she was lampooning. It’s basically what Pink has done for her entire career.

    1. Intuition is the song, and I agree. 0304 is one of the worst albums I’ve ever listened to.

      I think she went back to her roots, but that album probably killed her pop career.

  4. I don’t own any Jewel songs, but I know what you meant when you said You Were Meant For Me was way overplayed. That was the time in my life when I was going to Lifetime Fitness every day, and I’d watch VH1 when exercising, and Jewel was on there with that song endlessly! I did sort of like it. Later Jewel showed up in bit parts on the soap operas I used to watch.

  5. You’re wrong. “Amen” is the best song Jewel ever recorded (I’ll admit there’s recent gaps in my knowledge).

    I like how two of the tracks are live cuts, just thrown into a studio album. IIRC, “Pieces of You” and “Painters”.

    I saw Jewel in concert when she was touring off this album and it’s still one of the best shows I’ve ever seen.

    1. I’m not a huge fan of live cuts being thrown into albums unless there’s a clear break between studio and live. It just throws everything off for me. It’s easier with Jewel, at least, because she tends to play for a more quiet, intimate atmosphere.

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