Jewel - Sweet and Wild
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Sweet and Wild (Valory Music, 2010)


Reviewed by Tim Johnson

Jewel's latest offering sounds pretty good (it comes with both acoustic and electric versions), but it's certainly more pop than country - most of the songs are fast-paced, and there's nary a dulcimer, fiddle or steel guitar to be found. But that fact notwithstanding, there are still a couple of tear-jerker songs here that would make even Hank Williams himself cry. Take, for example, the deeply melancholy Bad As It Gets, the enigmatic and powerful Fading or What You Are, a song that includes a number of very sad scenes, including a teary exchange in a VA hospital between a dying Iraq War vet and his father.

But there's still plenty of the fun, cutie-pie fare that has made Jewel famous. Summer Home in Your Arms is an instantly likeable tune with a bouncy melody and sunny lyrics, while Stay Here Forever, is a song that may not stay with you forever, but it will definitely run through your head all day long. And , the album's finale and one of its radio cuts, is soulful and satisfying enough. "Sweet and Wild" might not be Jewel's best album ever, but it's a decent listen for even casual fans.

CDs by Jewel

Picking Up the Pieces, 2015 Sweet and Wild, 2010 Perfectly Clear, 2008

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