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Perfectly Clear Enhanced

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It comes as no surprise that Jewel, an acclaimed American singer, songwriter, actress, poet, painter, philanthropist and daughter to an Alaskan cowboy singer-songwriter, finds herself in the embrace of country music for the release of her seventh career album, Perfectly Clear.

Nashville Connections

Jewel's personal odyssey, partly chronicled on one of the best selling debut albums of all time, the twelve-time platinum Pieces of You, comes full circle with her forthcoming country album, Perfectly Clear, the debut release on newly launched Nashville-based independent label The Valory Music Co.

Jewel is set apart her whole career for not only singing, but writing all her songs, and this album is no exception. "I've been writing country songs my whole career; some of the songs on this record date back to when I was 18 years old. I've been hanging on to them until now. They were meant for a record like this one."

The record's first single "Stronger Woman" is a powerful and positive message that resonates with women of any age. Perfectly Clear is produced by Jewel and John Rich of Big and Rich fame. "Jewel is probably one of the greatest American singer-songwriters we have. It is such an honor to work with anyone of that caliber of talent," Rich says. Jewel has spent a lot of time in Nashville over the last few years, and has naturally been drawn to and accepted by the Nashville music community. "If I were discovered today, there is no doubt that I would be signed as a country artist. Songs like "You Were Meant For Me" would have been a country hit today, and not a pop hit as it was in the 90s. The genres have changed more than I feel I have," says Jewel.


Arguably the best-written record in Jewel's catalogue. -- Slant Magazine

When you pick up Jewel's, Perfectly Clear CD check out cut five on the disc, Anyone But You, written by Jewel and Wynn Varble. It's so authentic and classic country in content and delivery, it could have been a country hit by some country diva of Jewels' caliber during any of the last four decades, including this first one of the 21st century. But then, a lot of this John Rich/Jewel produced collection feels that way. -- Neil Hailsop

It makes sense that Jewel would steer her career into country territory. She already had a sound that cozied up against the country crossover genre occupied by Shania Twain and LeAnn Rimes, and she can yodel like nobody's business.

With Perfectly Clear, the singer, who's been sidelined in the pop world lately, finds her spot comfortably among the cowboy hats of TV show Nashville Star and producer John Rich of Big & Rich fame. Don't expect an album full of mandolin and banjo, however. Jewel is true to her diehard fans with songs that are really the soft pop ballads she does best -- only this time her weakness for hackneyed lyrics are a little more appropriate in a mainstream country milieu, so she may have found her true comfort zone. And there are some truly lovely songs here, including the James Taylor-ish Love Is a Garden, which covers familiar Jewel ground about love lost. It's not far off her old You Were Meant for Me hit, as is much of the release. Her hit single Stronger Woman is a female-empowerment song done Jewel style, as in, delivered irony-free and straightforward, while Anyone But You showcases her talent for a country yodel, with Grand Ol Opry flourish. It's less a stellar country debut than one that shows a lot of promise, and if Jewel could set her sights less on Rich's mainstream and more say, on an authentic rawness of Shelby Lynne, she might just graduate to the level of songwriting befitting that powerful range of hers. -- Kerry Gold, MSN

JEWEL: Perfectly Clear (Open Road/Maplemusic/Universal) Jewel makes a surprisingly effective transition is to mainstream country music and seems quite at home in Nashville.*** -- MIKE REGENSTREIF, The Montreal Gazette

Jewel began her career with folk-rock, then strayed to pop, and now she's moseying over to country with Perfectly Clear, but she doesn't cave to the genre's notoriously rigid format. Her first single "Stronger Woman" urges ladies to be their "own best friend" with slightly hokey albeit surprising feminist gusto--a welcome throwback to stars like Loretta Lynn. Convictions aside, she expertly appeals to purists ("Anyone But You") and fans of modern country-pop ("I Do") with an energy and freshness lacking from her recent efforts. -- Cory Albertson, Country Roundup

Jewel has been a pop chart fixture since 1995, but organically rooted, making her move to country a convincing transition. Her seventh album and first full-length country project, "Perfectly Clear," is not only persuasive, but down-home, old-school country. It's not just the addition of steel guitar that sells Jewel's passage, but the whole of her delivery and lyrical themes. Potential hits abound: Best are the searching, chug-along "I Do"; remorseful ballad "Everything Reminds Me of You"; the uptempo, playful "Rosey and Mick," about a long-term imperfect relationship; and the mannered "Anyone but You," which sounds like a Tammy Wynette classic. Jewel continues to surprise and inspire. -- MSNBC

Perfectly Clear -- Jewel's strong seventh album -- is billed as her "country" record, but Jewel has been country for years. The ways in which Perfectly Clear is more country than her 1995 debut album, Pieces of You, are small -- more a function of nods and gestures than of wholesale conversion. Jewel wrote or helped write every song save one. Producer John Rich (of Big & Rich) has done little to hammer down her well-worn eccentricities: wordiness; imperfect rhymes; a sharp, assured voice that collapses for effect. Her brand of country is gentle; making her a genre star will require some adrenaline. Anyone but You boldly revisits country's early-'70s pop movement; Jewel is lovely on it, her voice breathy and bittersweet. Till It Feels Like Cheating recalls the blues-inflected sound of Julie Roberts. It's the best song and the likeliest hit. But it is no coincidence that it is the one Jewel didn't write. -- Jon Caramanica, The New York Times

Perfectly Clear finds Jewel -- who only five years ago was making like Britney -- turning herself into a country singer with the assistance of producer John Rich, best known as half of Big & Rich. It sounds like an extreme makeover but it's not, as the country form focuses her, helping her deliver concise, pretty poppy tunes that are reminiscent of her hit debut Pieces of You. -- By Matt Fernandes, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Pop-folkie Jewel's finally gone country on her seventh album, and it suits her: She's an earnest storyteller, and in the land of steel guitars (and co-producer John Rich), there's no shame in tracks titled "Love Is a Garden" and "Thump, Thump," two sweet, sway-along tunes. And though self-help single "Stronger Woman" is unremarkable radio fare, Jewel does conjure a few special ballads. Her thick vibrato makes desperation palpable on the Patsy-would-be-proud weeper "Anyone but You," and she actually yodels with soul on the soaring "Loved by You (Cowboy Waltz). B+ -- Mandi Bierly, Entertainment Weekly

These days everyone from Bon Jovi and the Eagles to Jessica Simpson and Snoop Dogg(!) seems to want a piece of the country market. After her last CD, 2006's Goodbye Alice in Wonderland, failed to take off, Jewel has become another Nashville interloper. But for the neo-folkie, venturing into country territory comes just as easily as hopping over the barnyard fence. It's certainly a lot more natural of a transition than when she attempted a dance-pop makeover on 2003's 0304. Without affecting too much of a twang in her voice, she gets the phrasing - and the feeling - just right on tunes like the lilting "Loved by You (Cowboy Waltz)," while spinning a classic country conceit on the balland standout, "Till It Feels Like Cheating." And on "Two Become One," Jewel evokes something really sweet: early Olivia Newton-John. -- Chuck Arnold, People magazine

What's the big theme in the new CD pile today? Women, reinventing themselves.

JEWEL SHOWS NEW FACETS: She made her mark as a sensitive singer-songwriter, till fans of that genre moved on to newer, brassier girls on the block. So Jewel has reinvented herself as a down-home, no-nonsense country singer.

On "Perfectly Clear" (The Valory Music Co, B+) this now Nashville-based Dixie chick puts on a pretty convincing Southern accent and covers all the twangy bases, from the banjo-flavored, love-yourself anthem "Stronger Woman" to the dangerous-liaison-themed, "Til It Feels Like Cheating" and the rueful, torchy, Patsy Cline-ish "Anyone But You," flavored with pedal steel and fiddle.

Truth is, I never thought Jewel was that distinctive of a folk composer, but in the less-demanding country arena, her material seems top tier. -- By Jonathan Takiff, Philadelphia Daily News

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 3, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Enhanced
  • Label: Valory Music Co.
  • ASIN: B00171MNLU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,770 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Amanda Richards HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on June 14, 2008
Format: Audio CD
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, June 14, 2008
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Rudy Palma on June 3, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Anyone who has followed Jewel's career beyond the obvious hit singles knows that a country record has been in her cards for a while, and sixth studio album "Perfectly Clear" fits the bill. Whether it be quality album tracks like "Cleveland" from 2001's "This Way" or "Stephenville, TX" from 2006's "Goodbye Alice In Wonderland," each of her albums (save for 2003's misjudged "0304") has demonstrated her potential for the genre. Accusations that the Alaskan singer/songwriter is courting Middle America to sell more records cannot be disproved, but what matters is whether or not the results are worth repeated listens. They are.

Fans of Jewel's body of work not particularly privy to country music can relax and dig in - "Perfectly Clear" is a Jewel album first, a country CD second. The witty, romantic lyricism and catchy melodies typical of her earlier records are both here and stronger than ever. The only difference is typical country music instruments like violins and steel guitars take on an eminent presence. It is executed wonderfully, however; those waiting for the next rootin tootin' Gretchen Wilson record or even country purists should find the album thoroughly absorbing.

Not much has changed as far as Jewel's themes are concerned, and it tends to work for the genre. "Love Is a Garden" joins the ranks of "Break Me" or "Morning Song" with its sticky-as-Christmas-tree sappiness, but its melody is colorful and invigorating. The same goes for "Two Become One," a great improvement on a track from "0304," as well the album's formidable lead single, "Stronger Woman" which has met respectable success on country radio and even pierced the pop charts with its feel-good theme and strong, confident vocal delivery.
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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Steve H VINE VOICE on June 3, 2008
Format: Audio CD
I have been a fan of Jewel, since just after her coffee house days, and I have seen her in concert over a dozen times. "Perfectly Clear," is a stunningly gorgeous demonstration of Jewel's unique, fascinating storytelling. Furthermore, the sound is fantastic. I care very little for country music, but this album is fantastic and quickly rose to one be one of my favorite Jewel albums ever despite having only listened fully one time. Typically I need a dozen listens before really understanding and enjoying the sound of an album. Not here, this album is great right off the first push of the play button, and the Jewel storytelling is always clear and there from the start to begin with.

The album is not entirely different from the 2001 album release "This Way." While every Jewel album is superb, I'd certainly take the step to say this is the best produced album since "This Way," as its not overly done, and Jewel's voice is allowed to carry the story.

The variety and quality of songs on here is fantastic. From older treasures, to new creations, they are found here. They will delight you, put you at peace, and entertain you.

My next album hope? This album was fully enjoyed. I still want, someday, the average CD or radio listener to hear the brilliance that is Jewel live. A Jewel live album, or live-style album would further complete her discography.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Oxford42 on November 17, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Jewel is at her best when she's singing pop folk. She is a fantastic singers and an accomplished songwriter. Perfectly Clear though, takes Jewel out of her groove and back to her roots. Her father is a cowboy singer-songwriter, so it makes sense she'd try her hand in country music.

Jewel's seventh album is not her best, however. You really have to be into country music to like/love this one. As someone who enjoys country music, I enjoyed this, but I'm not sure mainstream Jewel fans will love this one. The good: the album is well produced and not overly done. Jewel's voice is clear and strong.

Recommended for Jewel fans who don't mind a little country.
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How can she?!
I'm a little averse to the idea that "gay rights" can be boiled down to "politics"... I mean only for the reason that I don't feel that the debate over gay rights is the same as the debate over foreign policy. But aside from that, I do have to say Jewel isn't "forgetting... Read More
Jun 1, 2008 by Jamie |  See all 13 posts
Enhanced ????
The only enhancement is a Stronger Woman video. BTW - there is no non-enhanced version of the CD available. So no matter where you buy it or how much you pay, it is the same version.

The CD is well worth the $10 price. It has some very good songs, but is not her best CD in my opinion.
Jun 17, 2008 by ricky rocket |  See all 2 posts
I haven't heard Spirit (i like the singles from it though), but my list would be:

1. Goodbye Alice in Wonderland
2. This Way
3. 0304
4. Perfectly Clear (though I do still enjoy it)
5. Pieces of You (I pretty much only enjoy the singles and Morning Song)

Perfectly Clear is a pretty good CD, and... Read More
Jun 7, 2008 by James F. Booth |  See all 4 posts
jewel turns out to be cheap rhinestone
Again, you make a judgement without supportive review. Why does it offend you that this artist chose a different medium to express herself than the one which you are so clearly comfortable with? Elitism raising it's ugly head? Country music cannot possibly be worthy of the Olympic heights of... Read More
Aug 1, 2008 by James M. Selkirk |  See all 5 posts
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