Jewel’s story will be known to many. It’s the story of a bright and young star who emerged and blew the world away with her talent, then over the years evolved and changed with the industry. Her debut album Pieces Of You was released just over 20 years ago and became one of the highest selling debuts in history, spawning hit singles like Foolish Games and You Were Meant For Me, it was definitely one of the most influential albums of that decade. As her music began to become more mainstream (take hit single Intuition as an example), her new album Picking Up The Pieces has been said to pick up where her old sound left off. So we can expect a more personal, emotive and heartfelt journey from Jewel.
Your heart aches with the songbird as she sings Love Used To Be, introducing us to the poetry that flows throughout this album, after all these years in the industry Jewel still has such a youthful and emotive voice. This album was recorded with a live band too, not to mention Jewel self-produced it, which made the listening experience all the more personal and intimate; it’s those aspects that really helped nail the delivery of tracks like Here When Gone and Plain Jane. Jewel’s voice hasn’t been heard this raw for 20 years, it shines throughout the entire album, but particularly on subtle emotive numbers like Pretty Fooled Face and the almost spoken worded His Pleasure Is My Pain. Another notable track is Jewel’s collaboration with Dolly Parton on the autobiographical ballad My Father’s Daughter.
Jewel has done wonders with Picking Up The Pieces, self-producing it made it all the more her ‘baby’ and returning to the sound that brought her fame was a good move. The star’s personal life was in turmoil over the last few years with the breakdown of her marriage, and her poetry that reigns throughout this album really brings you to her level; the beauty of folk music is that the genre is mostly lyrically relatable, if you have been through what the writer has been through it will touch you deeper than somebody who lacks experience. Jewel has successfully returned to her roots, and her fans will thank her for it.