New country music album not much of a jewel at all


Jewel has been captivating music lovers for years with her unique voice and contemporary folk style songs, as demonstrated in her 1995 debut album, “Pieces Of You” (Atlantic/Wea), which went platinum 11 times.

Smash hits such as “You Were Meant For Me” and “Foolish Games” left fans wanting more of this native Alaskan’s music.

Jewel faced harsh critics with the release of her 2003 album “0304” (Atlantic), which was bashed for being a sell-out, wanna-be pop album.

It has been five years since that album came out, and Jewel is at it again. “Perfectly Clear” (Valory Music Co.) is her 2008 country album, which kills her original flare and sound.

“Perfectly Clear” is a cheesy attempt at a country album with clich’eacute; lyrics that have been repeated for years by numerous other artists.

Jewel’s attempt at a country twang accent is laughable, as she tries to mimic legendary country artists such as Dolly Parton and her yodeling in “Loved By You (Cowboy Waltz)” is unbearable. The song is about losing her love and how she stays awake at night wishing he would come back to her, which is fine, but the slow-paced yodeling outro makes an odd ending.

The use of a slide guitar, banjo and fiddle gives the album a country feel, but the lyrics and tone of her voice sounds more like soft rock. Her singing is reminiscent of the old Jewel, so the question remains why she chose to make a country album at all.

It seems as though Jewel is putting out albums based on current trends. Pop music was at a high point in 2003 when she released “0304.”

With the recent popularity of Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift, is Jewel just trying to hang with the young crowd?

All 11 tracks deliver a message about love, breaking up and making up.?

“Love is a garden, it needs help to grow” are just a few lyrics from?Track No. 3, “Love Is A Garden.”

Lyrics from Track No. 2, “I Do,” include, “Love is a game until it’s played.” Which is it? Is love a garden or a game?

It looks like Jewel should have followed her “Intuition” and not made this album. This CD is only worth $10 if you would like to hear the downward spiral of a great artist.

The only thing that is “Perfectly Clear” is that it looks like this Jewel is just another cubic zirconium.