Thursday, May 13, 2010

Off-Genre: Under The Water

Jewel: Under the Water


Sometimes off-genre goes terribly wrong, and you want to beg the artist to keep their day job, or in musicians case I suppose I mean stick to what they're good at. Unfortunately, Jewel, the folky Alaskan girl known for her hits "Who Will Save Your Soul?" and "You Were Meant for Me" from her crazily popular debut album "Pieces of You", sometimes doesn't listen to the wisdom of sticking with what you know and likes to stray.

Jewel released a whole album of pseudo-dance music in 2003, complete with her in neon clothing on the cover. In interviews she said it was to step out of the box people had put her in and to also be a bit ironic. Unfortunately for her, and for us, putting out ironic music looks more like a sell-out than anything else. What she is good at is stripped-down, acoustic, heartfelt and simple. Things that let her voice and words shine through.

But she's always had a penchant for such behavior. This little gem (yeah, that's sarcasm) is from the soundtrack to the '90s teen flick The Craft, and was released shortly after her debut album came out. The song features retro synth beats that remind me of late 70's soul, and a lovely interlude where Jewel attempts to rap. Any white girl who grew up on a ranch, can yodel, and is married to a rodeo star really doesn't have any business rapping. Alas, she was young when she did this, at least she hasn't tried it again since. Jewel, we love your simple acoustic stuff, please stick with what you do best.

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