This Time, Jewel, You've Gone Too Far


I've been trying to write this entry all week, but I could never seem to get it right. I realize now that I just wasn't angry enough. Only after seeing a commercial last night for a women's razor underscored by the accordions of Jewel's "Intuition" am I finally able to give form to my ire.

I've suffered the music of Jewel since high school. Not necessarily by choice. I tend to listen to radio stations that tend to play Jewel. And, frankly, I've never found her music to be offensive enough to change the station. Also, one of my good friends in high school was a Jewel fan from way back, even before "Who Will Save Your Soul?", so I had to pretend to like her, at least for her sake. But I can keep my silence no longer. There are just too many bad things about "Intuition." Someone must take a stand, and I nominate me.

First, some background. Jewel broke into mainstream radio amid just as the post-grunge chaos of the mid-90s music scene was settling down, and people were ready to start feeling good about themselves again. As peppy, mindless ska and "modern swing" tunes started pouring out of speakers across the country, a soft-voiced blonde temptress challenged people to take charge of their personal destinies in a world full of things trying to capitalize on their faith. The song was thoughtful, and the singer was charming in her own meek way. She had a nice rack, a pretty (if slightly pumpkin-like) face, and yet her gnarled snaggle-tooth gave her a more attainable everyday-person look. She didn't fit the mold of the female artists of the time. She was attractive, didn't seem particularly angry about anything, and had better things to talk about than the last failed relationship. In short, the Tracy Bonhams and Patti Rothbergs are shaking in their aggressive woman boots.

Emboldened by her success, Jewel followed up with "You Were Meant for Me." At the time I had suspicions that we had been fooled. While "Who Will Save Your Soul" actually had a thing or two to say about a thing or two, "You Were Meant for Me" appeared to deal entirely with, as I said, the last failed relationship. That, coupled with the fact that the first verse is about breakfast (reminiscent of Squeeze's "Tempted," which introduces itself with several lines about toiletries), was enough to lower Jewel irreparably in my estimation.

Then came "Foolish Games," our first introduction to the the god-awful "poetic" stylings that Jewel would eventually insist on turning into a book. Subscribing to the "the lyrics may not rhyme, but at least they don't follow a rhythm, either" school of songwriting, Jewel mumbled and fake-cried her way to chart-topping success once again. Now there was no stopping her.

Over the next few years Jewel's singles followed a familiar pattern of mixing uninspired platitudes ("If I could tell the world just one thing it would be that we're all okay") with incomprensible high-school poetry ("My hands are small I know but they're not yours they are my own"). And I listened, teeth clenched, but I listened. Even when she had the audacity to use "Do you want me like I want you" in a song released during the twenty-first fucking century, I brooded inwardly without making too much of a fuss.

But "Intuition," oh, that's just too much. Jewel appears to be trying to reconnect with her original success, telling people to be themselves in a world that wants them to be someone else. In short, don't buy into fads. That's great. It's too bad Jewel has completely abandoned the style of music that shaped her career by jumping on the bandwagon of ghettoing-up her music, you know, to appeal to the young people. Congratulations, Jewel, on finding a drum machine and a soundboard that makes you sound like you're on the phone. Were they in the dumpster outside the studio where No Doubt recorded Rocksteady? Or maybe you borrowed them from Shania Twain, Faith Hill, Madonna, Tori Amos, or any of the other dozens of female artists who've made the exact same move over the past five years. Tori Amos at least had the sense to bring back the piano after her intolerable dance album. Here's hoping Jewel sees the same light.

But perhaps I'm being too hard on Jewel. Maybe her belated buy-in to the fake hip-hop genre is really a brilliant post-modern statement on the very thing the song is talking about. Even granting (quite generously) that conclusion, there's still the matter of the super-relativistic speed with which she hocked that song off to the women's razor industry. It was positively unphysical. She must have recorded the song, and then taken the song back in time and given it to the razor people before it was even recorded. That's the only way. The only way.

On top of that, the lyrical content is terrible even by Jewel's standards. "Sell your skin, just cash in"? Is that your way of telling us that radio stations don't play Jane's Addiction's "Mountain Song" enough? "If you want me let me know I promise I won't say no"? What the hell does that have to do with anything else you say in the song? Is it in your contract that you have to get laid in every song you write now? And let us not forget "It's not hard to understand just follow this simple plan." I swear to God I can almost hear Homer saying "Something something then you'll see, you'll avoid catastrophe."

This is truly a new low, not only for Jewel, but for music in general. My intuition is telling me to sell my goddamned radio.


The combination of a grafity-defying rack, alongside jacked-up teeth, is also a big part of Kirsten Dunst's seemingly-attainable-hot-girl charm.

plus dunst has the hot, edgy, slighty-haunted-eyes look, unable to fully escape her scary-little-girl role in interview with the vampire.

Matt and I just enjoyed Kirsten's Minnesota accent in drop dead gorgeous. I think it was in theaters for all of 2 seconds, but it was a fun sort of mocumentary.

kirsten dunst generally doesn't do much for me but i must say that she was maximum hot in "drop dead gorgeous." i had forgotten how much i liked the baggy jeans/tight shirt look. zang.

I'd give up five Tracy Bonham albums to go back in time and prevent Jewel's career by collapsing her igloo while she was sleeping. Too bad Tracy only made one album, to my knowledge. But wasn't it great!?! "Who's got the bulldog down below?"

1. the best part of 'drop dead gorgeous' is when the anorexic winner from the year before lip-synced to 'don't cry out loud' in her wheelchair. oh my god, i'm getting stomach cramps just thinking about how hard i laughed at that.

2. my final straw with jewel came when i picked up some crappy 'what's hollywood wiping it's ass with today?' kind of magazine, and saw a picture of jewel and beyonce in similar tight minidresses, down to their respective crotches, with hideous swingy fringe. they were dressed up for 'divas live'. though i was a big fan of jewel when the first album came out, my interest waned quickly, so her selling out wasn't as big of a blow to me as liz phair. it's more like seeing mint chocolate chip ice cream melting on the ground, flies swarming it. i don't particularly like that flavor, but i'm still slightly nauseated by the flies.

3. ok, fine, i'll go do my homework now.

oh, i don't know, i thought the dancing to "can't take my eyes off of you" with the giant wheeled jesus doll was also pretty good. come on... velcro hands!

if it makes you feel better, I saw this morning the Jewel's video has slipped to the number 18 position on the VH1 weekly countdown. It was in fact their fall of the week.

so the first time i saw jewel/heard her peform, she was opening for peter murphy. it was 1995? 96? something. and the girl yodeled, -yodeled- i say, to the assembled goth or post goth crowd. chutzpah: i was impressed. that passed, however. ick. and don't you hate how you know all the damn words to songs you hate??!?

I'd still boink her!

Perhaps the glitz and glam of "Intuition" were part of the message?

I have been an admirer of Jewel's music since a senior in high school, I'm 31 now. When that song came out (and OH GOD THE VIDEO!) I was so heartbroken. But then I thought about it .. now, someone confused and still searching for who they are would be very likely to 'sell-out', but Jewel? So grounded in her earthly ways and causes .. I thought about it more, and I watched the video again and again. While still thinking she makes a terrible glam diva (ick!) I started to see something else presented there.

Ya might want to look again. I could be wrong, but so could you.

And on a side note, I'm disgusted that her rack or teeth are even an issue.

All disgust aside, I'd bury my face in her rack because I find her teeth absolutely adorably crooked - My husband agrees ;)

Honestly, i wasn't shocked to see her go from whimpering puppy to vapid slut figure so quickly.
Look what happened to Gwen, i mean, it's just another rant on what money and fame, idolatry, and just plain sheep-like conformity is doing to our society.
I don't think there's a hidden message or huge satire she's trying to pull, that idea is completely self-imposed, like the intelligence and insight of Freud, the validity of Nostradamus.

I was obsessed with her album peices of you.
I really looked up to her because im a girl who plays guitar and writes songs. and then I found out that all these pop songs on the radio from her and I was really disappointed. I thought her whole appeal was being unique. I still listen to her oldest album, because it's amazing. But the new songs really upset me.

When I first saw the Intuition video I thought it was an amazing spoof... and then I found out she was dressing like a vapid slut all the time.

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This page contains a single entry by hb published on September 5, 2003 10:02 AM.

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