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3.6 out of 5 stars9
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VINE VOICEon 14 June 2008
Popular folk singer/songwriter Jewel tries something old for her new album, and comes up country fresh and honey sweet. The tracks are like Carrie Underwood channeling The Carpenters for a perfect blend of vintage country with pop and folk.

The lead single is "Stronger Woman", an anthem for women everywhere who are being taken for granted by the men in their lives. Her advice?

"I'm gonna love myself more than anyone else
Believe in me, even if someone can't see
A stronger woman in me"

She follows up with "I Do", which is a song about making a commitment to the person you love. I really like the clever lyrics, and chorus, "'Cause love is a game until it's played / And if it's lost, it can't ever be saved."

For some old-fashioned country violins and stuff, try "Love is a Garden" (a track with a little Shania Twain edge); "Anyone But You"; "Thump Thump" ; "'Til it Feels Like Cheating" (pure country); "Everything Reminds Me of You"; "Love By You (Cowboy Waltz)" (a bit of yodeling here) and "Perfectly Clear"

My son likes "Rosey and Mick", which has a chorus that reminds me of The Carpenters, and I also like "Two Become One" which is very familiar, but I can't recall the song it reminds me of right now. (Maybe "Islands in the Stream" by Kenny and Dolly, combined with "Love Doesn't Ask Why" by Celine Dion)

I prefer Jewel as a folk singer, but I appreciate her experimenting with a variety of styles. This is a very good country album by any standards.

Rated: 4.5 stars

Amanda Richards
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on 20 June 2008
To me Jewel just seems to be getting better and better.Perfectly Clear,although not a country album, like others have suggested,has a country flavour to it, but still possess's Jewel's great strengths. Intelligent lyrics and great vocals. It seem's a natural progression from `Goodbye alice in Wonderland`and if you liked that album I'm sure you'll like this.
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on 1 January 2010
Those people that have followed Jewel's music will know that she has wavered between pop and country over the years, and Perfectly Clear is her most country influenced album. The one thing that shines through is her beautiful voice, and it certainly suits the style of the album. If you have never bought a Jewel album before and prefer the pop side more, go for 03/04, but for anyone with even a passing interest in country music, you will find this a great listen. If you have bought a Jewel album before, unless you hated This Way, you will know that you'll like it.
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on 18 February 2010
This is the lovely Jewel at her very best! Her 1st Country album is choc full of wonderful and emotional songs. Each delivered in Jewel's own unique style, her voice is simply spine tingling. Highly Recommended.
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on 28 August 2009
It's OK I guess. She's done alot better, and she's done (one) alot worse.
It's a bit too shmaltzy, you know, no cutting edge tracks at all. Most her cd's have a couple. All in all you could spend your money in many worse ways.
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on 8 September 2008
It's strange that her albums have in someway regressed in maturity and depth. each one somehow lacking the individuality of the one before. This is the weakest album, no doubt about it. The strongest tracks are 'rosey and mick' and 'perfectly clear' I always loved the unashamed sweetness and innovence in her tracks, such as in 'this way'and 'break me', but here songs such as 'love is a garden' border on nausea.
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on 21 August 2008
I was really looking forward to hearing this album. I have bought all of Jewels albums and her only slight notification in this country of the album "This Way" that got my attention. A lot of people critisized Jewel for 0304 but to me it was a near perfect pop record that only grew better as the album went on. Although her last album was heading towards a country market it had so many catchy numbers but i'm disapointed to say that this album has only about 2 songs i would recommend on it. This is full on country with plenty of the old twang in every song and to be honest it sounds rather dated. Something Shania would have done 15 years ago.

Nevermind though I will still always be a fan and already I am looking forward to the next album. If you are a relatively new Jewel fan I suggest you search the back catalogue first as there are so many gems!
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VINE VOICEon 15 June 2008
It was perhaps only to be expected that Jewel would deliver a "Country" album; perhaps it's a case of her "making the record she's always wanted to do" (as she suggested with the, I think, unfairly maligned 0304) or perhaps its an attempt to carve out a new audience. Long term it's impossible to tell if this is a single flight of fancy or a concerted move into new territory. Perhaps that will depend on record sales.

Things don't look good with opener Stronger Woman. If you were looking to set down a Female sung Country cliche in four easy minutes, you couldn't go far wrong with this. The sense is one of Jewel playing a Country star, rather than actually being one. It's a feeling that album struggles to shrug off.

Occasionally the pastiche is tossed aside to deliver something genuinely lifting, the main case in point being the title track, even if it seems to be little more than a Country retelling of one of her early hits, Foolish Games. I Do is another one that hits the right spot.

All in all this is far from a terrible album and there is no denying that Jewel has the ear for a catchy melody; the problem is as I've mentioned earlier, you're left with the feeling that she's merely "playing" at being a Country star, right down to the, at times, comedic attempts to effect a southern drawl.

Maybe if Country proves to be a long-term proposition for Jewel, she can get it right next time.
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on 28 July 2008
Oh dear, oh dear. However much I've liked Jewel's work in the past, (though I have never heard the derided 0304), this is a disaster. It's not that I particularly dislike country, the country-ish work of the Indigo Girls for example is ok by me, but this coy tweeness, cod accent, and lamentable video of the lead track is an instant 'throw it in the bin'. Any fans of her early work should listen before purchasing this. Let's hope she isn't really on the slippery slope downhill, and that she will once again produce work of quality.
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