By: Lauren Jonik (email@example.com)
With the release of her
fifth album, 0304, Jewel
explores a new musical direction that feels like a metamorphosis
into joy. While the CD is a slight departure from her previous albums,
her attention to sharing her personal journey through her music
remains. From her humble beginnings growing up in Alaska to her
days as a struggling singer songwriter in San Diego to becoming
a well known musical presence, Jewel has stayed true to her vision
of living her life uncompromisingly without limits. Emerging onto
the scene at the tail end of the grunge era in 1995, her first single,
Who Will Save Your Soul, from Pieces Of You offered
something fresh and organic. The simplicity of her sound was matched
only by the distinctiveness of her vocals whose tone could change
from soft, innocent and soothing to strong and powerful on the twist
of a dime or in the space of a line.
The complexity of any
artist--- or person--- lies in the seemingly paradoxical task of
defining the undefinable and capturing it for just a moment. At
times, the human experience demonstrates that what can appear contradictory
can actually be complementary. When describing the evolution of
her sound and the change in her public image, Jewel reminded that
being smart and being sexy are not opposites. In fact, the acceptance
of the many sides of ourselves only adds to our fullness and is
a key element in growing--- and in growing up.
first single from 0304, which was co-written by Lester Mendez,
is a dance-infused social commentary on pop culture in 2003. Amidst
the changeable trends and the fads of the day, the ability to look
within for guidance is forever at our fingertips. Follow you
heart / Your intuition / It will lead u in the right direction /
Let go of your mind / Your intuition is easy 2 find / Just follow
your heart, baby. Themes of compassion, peace, and joy flow
freely throughout 0304, but perhaps, it is when singing about
romantic love, as on 2 Find U, that Jewel shines her brightest.
Hey, u / Do not walk away / Let's choose love, come on / What
do u say? / Hey, u / Know that I would spend / My whole life all
over again / 2 find u.
Balancing the internal
musings of her heart with her external observations of the world,
Jewel twirls upon the edge of her own creativity. Through the known
and the unknown, the message is the same: listen, speak, listen.
As in Doin' Fine, Jewel expresses the simple and transformative
truth that in the end, life itself is its own gift and what we bring
to it is our own reward. So, come on baby / Let's just have fun
/ Let's breathe stardust into our lungs / Let's drive too fast /
Let's go too far / When our hearts bleed it lets us know we are---
alive / And that we are--- doin' just fine.