Review: Jewel – Goodbye Alice in Wonderland

Over the years, from her debut a decade ago, every album has spawned several solid hits. With a distinct velvet-ish voice, providing a warm dynamic range and depth, belting out her own written lyrics, she’s gone from folky rock with a dash of Nashville origin to more popy tunes. Her last album, the dance-influenced 0304 from 2003, though, was quite horrible (it’s like a bad dream I’m really trying to forget). Luckily, she’s moving back to the more pop rock style (while leaving her country roots audible here and there) from the excellent This Way from 2001. Not totally bringin back the the piano/acoustic guitar set, it’s clear a seasoned (co-)producer (Rob Cavallo) is behind the wheels to ensure high quality sound on this album. And that makes this new album quite an easy listening experience (with enough uptempo songs balancing the moody ballads), though not as satisfying. Some some have less catchy and somewhat flat hooks, and some aren’t as fluid from verse to chorus as expected. Still, as a whole it’s as elegant as can be expected, making it a must-have nonetheless, if this is your cup of tea.7½.

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