Quite a change from 2003’s “0304”, this sixth album from Jewel slows down the pace considerably, mixing pop, folk and a generous helping of country. There’s a lot of music here for your money, running nearly an hour, with three tracks that are more than five minutes long.
First single “Again and Again” is a standard pop ballad, but done Jewel-style with that little yodel. You’ll love the lyrics of this one, and probably play it again and again and again:
“But you, you're always on my mind.
It's like this all the time.
Say it's cause you're mine
Second track “Long Slow Slide” is just as the title implies, a long, slow, touching country-style ballad, and is followed by the title track, which is more folk-oriented, but with a lot of personal reflection. The chorus of “Good Day” is one you can almost hear Melissa Etheridge singing, and “Satellite” sounds more like a Shawn Mullins song.
One of the best tracks is “Only One Too”, with its excellent chorus, and then comes “Words Get in the Way”, another good song with country roots. Maybe it’s a coincidence, but “Drive To You” reminds me a lot of “I Drove All Night”, and this one is another attention-getting track.
“Last Dance Rodeo” is, as you may have guessed, a full fledged country song, and the longest on the album at just over 6 minutes – too slow and too long for my taste. If you’re in the mood for more slow music, stay tuned for “Fragile Heart” which sounds more like vintage Jewel and the folk-country auto-biographical “Stephenville, TX”.
Winding down the album are “Where You Are” and “1000 Miles Away”, and by the time you get this far you feel emotionally drained, having shared some very personal moments and a lot of angst with Jewel from various phases of her life.
Her most revealing album so far, long on the trademark poetic storytelling, and one for quiet listening moments.
on 28 May 2007
I often find that I cannot pass comment when it comes to Jewel; namely because I am one of those people who are thankful for her "0304" days.
I was introduced to her back in...well, '03/'04...when she decided to alter her style from folksy-mellow-country rock and head in a more electric-dancy-trendy pop direction; and I enjoyed this style immensely. I liked her ability to merge a sweet-sounding, soothing voice with dancy tracks - tracks you could loose yourself in, in terms of the lyrics and voice but also in terms of the rhythm and energy they emitted.
I knew, however, that this was not Jewel's typical shtick and so in acquiring the prettily named "Goodbye Alice In Wonderland", and knowing that she had gone back to her regular format, I was fully prepared for something that would be nothing like "0304" and was half prepared to dislike it.
But this wasn't actually the case. It was not the Jewel that I knew and enjoyed from my experience of her so far, but unfortunately the Jewel that I loved was not really Jewel at all. This album goes back to the styles of past albums. From hearing her older work I have enjoyed such tracks as "Hands" and "Down So Long", and I would say about half of the album pleases me as these songs did. The rest are nice, but nothing special to my ears, although I think an avid old-style Jewel fan would seriously disagree with me.
The selection I would place on my highlights list for "Goodbye Alice In Wonderland" would be the upbeat and inspiring "Good Day", the deep and sweet "Long Slow Slide", the rhythmic, rocky "Only One Too", and the catchy "Words Get In The Way". Worthy of adoration is the amazing "Drive To You", which draws you into a nice, soothing opening, brings you into a louder, passionate chorus and releases you into the sweet line "Like clouds in a sky of blue I belong to you". And topping the list is the perfect song to draw you into the album, the opening track "Again And Again" - an upbeat, catchy track that serves as a nice easing from the back-end of "0304" into the commencement of "Goodbye Alice In Wonderland".
My review might not do justice to this album where many Jewel fans are concerned, I don't know. For those that enjoyed her "0304" phase, it is not the same - and I'm not sure we'll ever hear that modish approach from her again! However, if you're determined to enjoy what Jewel is really about, "Goodbye Alice In Wonderland" is a very good place to start.
on 12 October 2006
Another Gem from Jewel!
This album is another well-crafted and fine body of work from Jewel. If you liked the Albums: "This way" and "0304", you will love "Goodbye Alice in Wonderland"
Jewel has produced yet another commercial sounding album, like her last two offerings "0304" and "This way". However, I must admit Jewels ability to impress as a songwriter goes from strength to strength in this current album.
If you are a Jewel fan like myself, ever since the very first time I heard the single: "Who will save your soul" you will love "Goodbye Alice in Wonderland"
As much as I love the early work from Jewel - "Pieces of you" and "Spirit"; the more commercial sound of "This way" set the standard for "0304" and "Goodbye Alice in Wonderland".
This album is another Gem from Jewel!
Grab a comfortable seat, put up your feet and give this cd a good listen: not once, not twice, but three times!
Anyway, I would gladly supply Jewel with pens and paper, just to see what she will write next!
What can you say about this album: "Goodbye Alice in Wonderland", Another Jewel in your Crown!
Jewel is an outstanding performer. In my mind, the perfect Jewel song has a simple unfussy backing, clear and concise lyrics, and Jewel singing her heart out with a rawness and vulnerability that is utterly captivating. Songs that fit this model, found in abundance on her debut album Pieces of You (1994), have been in short supply from the Alaskan singer/songwriter since This Way (2001).
Many singers who are not blessed with the refined vocal instrument that Jewel possesses, bring in outstanding musicians instead to add that much needed wow factor. Jewel does not need this, but only for as long as she is using her voice to enthrall her audience. When she tones her voice down, to perform a rockier number for example, those musicians are needed to bring the track to life.
Goodbye Alice in Wonderland has no such musicians, but plenty of tracks where they are needed. It is a combination of songs in a similar rocky style to that of her album This Way - but without Dann Huff's excellent production values - and a couple of songs that are more akin to her debut folk.
I'm not sure why Jewel felt that she needed to include another version of Fragile Heart. The arrangement on 0304 is better I think ... we could have done with an inlay note about this.
All the right ingredients are on this album to please Jewel fans everywhere, so I've been trying to figure out why I am left unspired by many of these recordings. Each track in its own right is very good, and in separation is a joy to listen to. I think the problem is there are too many tracks where the lyrics can be too cryptic so I can't relate to them, and the harmonies - which Jewel has done so well on some of her earlier albums - are barely audible in the final mix. Also the musical arrangements show little flair or originality, and Jewel's performances are often not big enough to compensate for it.
However, don't let that put you off buying this album. There are some absolute gems here, and it grows on you with each new listening. She has also left the two most emotionally affecting songs for the end of the album - Where You Are and 1000 Miles Away - which makes it feel like she has done a full circle and finally come home, as these really are performed in the style that we all fell in love with her for back in the mid-90s. These are the songs I was waiting for all album long - no even longer, I've been waiting for these two songs for 10 years - and they are the icing on the cake! Welcome home Jewel, we missed you!
Jewel Kilcher, for those who don't know her, has been knocking out albums for years, and her country-folky-pop sound has placed a different emphasis on those three elements depending on which album you listen to. After the album 03/04, where she seemed to have inexplicably gone extremely commercial and even - shock - 'dancy', one would have been forgiven for worrying about the direction she was heading in.
Fear not. This album, which she admits is no less than a musical autobiography, is a real return to form. These are well-crafted songs with honest lyrics. You can't review individual songs because this is a complete package. From delightful opener 'Again and Again' to a relaxing close with '1000 Miles Away', this is a joy to listen to. Perhaps the highlight, if I must select one, would be the single 'Stephenville, TX', where Jewel is in her conversational element, but the title track has a special place in my affections.
If you're new to Jewel, this is an excellent introduction to her music and is sure to tempt you to delve into her back catalogue. If you're already a fan, you won't need any further convincing to buy this excellent album.
on 28 February 2007
Appropreately titled 'Goodbye Alice In Wonderland' as the departure of Jewel from her label Atlantic for whom she has been affiliated with since her fantastic debut in 1995.'Goodbye Alice In Wonderland' takes it back to the 'Pieces Of You' roots with her autobiographical way of songwriting a more deeper and personal album than her 2003 disapointment (for me) that was '0304'.
1.Again And Again - This is one of my favourite songs from the album it's an upbeat soft tempo ballad i love the way she sings on this track, one of the best songs shes written for some years now. A song about trying to denying that you love someone and denying it 'again and again' but you just can't very sweet song and she looked beautiful in the video. 10/10
2.Long Slide Down - More of a sullen song is just as the title implies, a long, slow, touching country-style ballad. Only Jewel can get away with rhyming words that normally would sound horrible if sung by anyone else. She has a knack for sounding natural in her songs, as if she is making everything up as she goes. I love the lower tone in her voice another favourite 10/10
3.Goodbye Alice In Wonderland - I gotta admit when i first picked up the album i thought the album title was silly but then i listened to this song and i loved it! it's the most heartfelt and detailed story of Jewel's life. It's lengthy, but doesn't lack for intensity and spirit. Gradually swelling from sweet to powerful, Jewel displays her vocal talents beautifully here. 10/10
4.Good Day - This was released as a single which i'm not really a fan of it's in more of a poem structure than a song the chorus is fantastic though i'm not gonna deny it's just one of those that you can't help but to sing along to it's just the verses...I hate the way she sings 'em the song has a great message though no matter what your going through,as long as your 'good' with yourself you'll get through 8/10
5.Satellite - There are rich synth chords sprinkled here and there and it's a bit more structured than some of the other tunes. Still, Jewel's lyrics are as original and alive as ever. The song represents Jewel's observations of Hollywood and Los Angeles, where many newcomers hope to find success utilizing their new tanned skin, sun-bleached hair and toned surfer bodies.Reminded me so much of Sheryl Crow's album C'mon,C'mon most notable the song 'Soak Up The Sun' its fantastically sunny! 10/10
6.Only One Too - The guitar riff at the start is more stronger,edgier and darker than her usual stuff a bit more radio-friendly than the other stuff
perfect rock/pop anthem for bold women, I highly recommend the remix single of this song as well. 8/10
7.Words Get In The Way - This is one of those songs that oozes sweetness and charm. Catchy and alluring, there's nothing too difficult about this: it doesn't often happen, but Jewel avoids deep and thought provoking territory, lyrically. The ironic thing is while Jewel confesses at the end of each chorus, "the words get in the way," she successfully communicates her thoughts and wants with her lover throughout the verses with classic lines like, "tell your boss you're dead; lets just stay in bed." It's a little more generic than some of the other songs, but is well done nonetheless. 10/10
8.Drive To You - The verses of this song are, in my opinion, not to be missed. The chorus is great too, but something about the lyrics in the verses is enchanting. The bridge, in which Jewel pleads she "can't stop, won't stop," has a massive crescendo. The now-familiar formula of rich acoustic guitars, shuffling beats, and dynamic vocals feels extremely comfortable here. Jewel's longing and desire are obvious. There's nothing in particular that makes this song wonderful. As a whole though, it real stands out. 10/10
9.Last Dance Rodeo - Lyrics, lyrics, lyrics. If I could choose one song off the entire album with the best lyrics, it would be this one. The words are so colorful and vibrant and creative, but very real. Musically, it sounds like something you could listen to while riding a walking horse through the open prairie. It's got a lazy beat. During the bridge, a jazzy trumpet makes a brief appearance. Longer than most of the other tunes, it's something you'll want to listen to during those quiet times in the bath or on the back porch. 10/10
10.Fragile Heart - An updated version of "0304's" charming jazz and electronic song,and a more superior version at that! this new take has a bit more impact and punch, especially during the bridge in which the song modulates briefly into a higher key. It's a lot like "Drive To You" in style. In some ways, I enjoy this new version more than the original, though a bit of the sweetness has disappeared and the whistling that could be heard in the bridge is no longer present. Still, this stands on its own as a great song. 10/10
11.Stephenville, TX - Far more country than anything else on the album,
which gives a evidence that Jewel would be recording a country album (which should be out this year, or next) this song shows off Jewel's twang. There's even a harmonica in the second verse and a piano can occasionally be heard playing trills. Jewel reminisces about the journey of her life, how much she has changed, and the realities of what will never change. She also mentions her boyfriend, and that he is the reason she's currently in Stephenville. Some songs envelope one emotion, but Jewel tells an entire story here. 10/10
12.Where You Are:
This song is both melodic and angelic, and Jewel sings with a smoother and softer tone which perfectly compliments the dreamy musical arrangement. She's given the opportunity to sing many long vowels and to open up her voice here. The beat in this song consists of hand drums and soft pats on bongos. Many guitars are layered to produce an inviting and earthy feel. Still, one gets the feeling of flying or floating in the open sea while listening to this. It's just a very nice song. 9/10
13.1000 Miles Away - Stripped bare of most studio equipment, Jewel serenades the listener with her raw vocals, guitar, a quiet piano and the occasional wispy chord. This is the song that will reassure everyone that Jewel can still perform like no other, giving listeners goosebumps simply by plucking a few strings and singing along poetically. This has "Pieces of You" all over it. And if I'm not mistaken, Jewel has been performing this song for years in front of live audiences. Those who have never heard it live are blessed to have it here. It's the best song on the album, by far. It could make you cry. It's that good. 10/10
1.Again And Again
2.Drive To You
3.1000 Miles Away
4.Goodbye Alice In Wonderland
5.Long Slide Down
This is a fantastic album can't wait to see what she has up her sleeve next.
I have recently rediscovered Jewel, somehting I thought I would never do. But now that my angsty teenage years are well and truly behind me, I can see that music does not have to be screamed out to be full of emotion and to make an impression on you. Rather, artist's like Jewel show their talent through intelligent lyrics, musical arrangements and impeccable singing.
Having only listened to her other brilliant album, SPIRIT, I cannot comment on how Jewel may be changing and growing as an artist since previous releases, but I can see how GOODBYE ALICE IN WONDERLAND differs to SPIRIT. With GOODBYE ALICE IN WONDERLAND, Jewel has produced an album which feels slightly different. In a sense there is a more edgier sound to this album. Love and relationships are examined, but on songs such as "Only One Too", there is almost a rocky edge to the music. This is definitely a move away from SPIRIT, which feels more folky / pop to me. Regardless of the genre that Jewel is aiming for, what remains as always is her amazing ability at songwriting. Her lyrics remain intelligent, considered and far above many other artists. This means that, just as she did on SPIRIT, GOODBYE ALICE IN WONDERLAND feels as though there is something quite profound rather than banal words churned out for the sake of it. Jewel's music comes from the soul.
Highly recommended - even if you aren't sure that this is the type of music you'd enjoy. Go on, try it.
A wonderful album by a first rate artist. Jewel has made magic with 'Goodbye Alice in Wonderland'. The lyrics are as always written by her and each song is poetic and meaningful. The accompanying music is perfect managing to seep into you with its soothing nature.
Of course there are the occasional faster paced songs but even they maintain a good balance and don't grate on your nerves.
An easy to listen to album with a nice country feel suitable for any time of the day or night.
A beautiful album. You won't be disappointed at all.
on 17 May 2006
Thanks Jewel - you have gone back to the music from your first albums (Pieces of you, Spirit and This way). I was not a fan of your last 'pop' effort.
Great music, outstanding lyrics and incredible artist.
Simply a wonderful album (again)
on 21 November 2008
Well make no mistake, this is the best Jewel album of her career so far. I've got to admit that I'm not a lover of the country music nonsense that Jewel can be prone to and neither do I like Jewel warbling in that over-vulnerable voice (the last track on this album I'm afraid lets me down on that score - over singing basically). However, when Jewel lets her (excellent) band off the leash and lets her own voice cut loose, the results are exhilerating. Two tracks on this album are a perfect example of this - they are so good that they have earned this album a five-star rating. They happen to follow on from each other - Satellite and Only One Too. Absolute class. The rest of the album is of a high standard so all in all, totally recommended. Lets see Jewel kick @ss more often - with those looks, her band in full flight and killer songs such as Only One Too well who could beat that?