Tag Archives: Adult Contemporary

49: This Way (Jewel)

Album: This Way
Artist: Jewel
Year: 2001

1. Standing Still
2. Jesus Loves You
3. Everybody Needs Someone Sometime
4. Break Me
5. Do You Want to Play?
6. Till We Run Out of Road
7. Serve the Ego
8. This Way
9. Cleveland
10. I Won’t Walk Away
11. Love Me, Just Leave Me Alone
12. The New Wild West

I either dislike or am not impressed with every single on this album. I can’t even remember why I bought it. Did I like the harsh sounding Standing Still and the awkward singing in This Way when they first came out? Or did someone play me the good songs from the rest of the album? Either way, I’m glad I got it. This Way is a little more poppy than her first two albums, but nowhere near the trashy dance music she put out on 0304.

Jesus Loves You is a pretty strong critique of societal platitudes, and Cleveland might be her best love song. Do You Want to Play? is fun to listen to, if only so often. She also does a pretty good Janis Joplin imitation on Love Me, Just Leave Me Alone.  My version of the album included some decent bonus tracks, but I didn’t include them above, mainly because they’re nothing to write home about.

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.