Perfectly Clear
(Open Road)
While Jewel's foray into dance pop on 2003's 0304 was all wrong---right from the start---one cannot completely dismiss this attempt to redefine herself as a new-country singer. Except for the genre's cliched production qualities, the songwriting here isn't too far off what she abandoned after three very successful folk/singer-songwriter albums. Especially "Love is a Garden" and the too-cutesy "Thump Thump," which are the most obvious entry points for fans who dug her way back when. If country radio listeners embrace her, then Jewel might have a new comfy home to hang her hat---just as long as she doesn't say anything bad about Bush.
---Dave Hayden

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