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We are loved beyond our ability to comprehend. (A quote from her album)
Jewel is one of my favourite singers. Her full name is Jewel Kilcher but use Jewel as her stage name. She is s an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, actress, and poet. She has received three Grammy Award nominations and has sold twenty-seven million albums worldwide, and almost twenty million in the United States alone. All this from a girl who grew up quite poor and at one time lived in her car when she was just starting out doing gigs.
I would definitely say that she is way more famous in the US than here. I don't really think I have ever heard any of her stuff here as it was in the US that I really got to know her.
I would describe her music as a type of folk music, on a lot of the songs it is just her and her guitar so it has quite an acoustic sound. She writes her own songs too which I like, they are not written for her. You can tell that she actually cares about each song and has a real connection to it and the words which makes it even more special. What I love about her is that you can put on her songs and feel really calmed and peaceful. Spirit is definitely an album that you can chill out to. Her lyrics are always thought provoking though and make you look at her world and the world around us differently after listening to the tracks. It almost seems like some of her songs are a therapy for her, like she is trying to get over some things or tell people how she feels by putting those words into song. I like the fact that she uses real life experiences to form part of her songs as it makes them way more interesting if they have a story attached to them.
I do admit though that it's one of those albums that the first time you hear it you either love it or you hate it as I do accept that her music is not for everyone.
Spirit is her second album after the very successful Pieces of You. It was released in 1998 and debuted at number 3 on the Billboard 200 with 368,000 copies sold in its first week. She dedicates this album to her mother. In the sleeve she writes this:
"My mother has always sought to understand what it means to be a human being in the highest sense and how to be that. She has gently inspired and nurtured that desire in me. This album is dedicated to my mother and partner, Nedra Carroll, who is an example and teacher to me of what it means to be the difference and to all of you who are being the difference in our world."
My favourite track on this album is number 3, Hands. It talks about how they are her hands but that she can use them to do good in the world and that they are also God's hands.
The rest of the tracks are as follows:
"What's Simple Is True"
"Kiss the Flame"
"Down So Long"
"Enter from the East"
"Absence of Fear"
The Alaskan solo singer, Jewel, has evolved at a rate resembling a cheetah both in musical style and lyrics over the gap between her last album and this. The ingénue who set the music world alight in 1995 with her debut album, Pieces of You, is back and the contrast between her first album, which consisted primarily of songs Jewel had written several years before, some of them dating back to her days as a free- spirited waif living in a van on the beach in San Diego, and this, her second, is all to obvious. Now, at 25, she's become a sort of guru for self-expression and full disclosure with her latest book of poetry, A Night Without Armour, gaining both critical acclaim and remaining on the best-seller list for months. The changes in Spirit shouldn’t be prejudged, though, many of them resemble a fruition in her style as opposed to becoming simply more like ‘popular music’ – the road taken by such similar artists as LeAnn Rimes. While Pieces of You was mainly a compilation of coffee-bar songs sung only to the sound of Jewel’s own acoustic guitar Spirit resembles a shift to larger bands of instruments backing up her still unchanged voice while also resembling development of her lyrical style. It truly is refreshing to see and enjoy the music of an artist who believes so deeply in what she creates. Furthermore, upon hearing the meaning, power, and emotion behind her music and words, her obsessive and excessive optimism doesn't seem so impossible anymore. On songs like "Deep Water," "Hands," and "Down So Long," her words are borne aloft by sparkling melodies and her soaring voice, and truly her talent is still as clear as ever in Spirit. If only the critics would give Jewel a break, she really has worked incredibly hard to achieve her success over the past years and indeed it was the voice she gave to her unique view on the world that we live in which pinpoints her as a truly revolut
ionary artist – one who is not afraid to defy trends and establish her own musical style without loosing sight of her roots. One last note: her new album is out in November in the US, and it’ll probably be one to watch out for!
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Deep Water
2 What's Simple Is True
4 Kiss The Flame
5 Down So Long
6 Innocence Maintained
8 Fat Boy
9 Enter From The East
11 Life Uncommon
12 Do You
13 Abscence Of Fea