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Multi-platinum singer-songwriter Jewel is partnering with Fisher-Price and Somerset Entertainment to debut her first-ever independent release, Lullaby. The 15-track album features 10 self-penned songs and a few standards including Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Somewhere Over the Rainbow. The acoustic record is reminiscent of Jewel's twelve-time platinum album, Pieces of You.
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I understand that Jewel chose to record this album when she did because of the state of her personal life at the time, being married with a young family. Clearly typical of modern women who want to sustain their careers while raising a family, Jewel wrote or co-wrote most of the material, but she also stamps her own identity on Gloria (the Christmas song that begins Gloria in excelsis Deo, not the Laura Branigan song of the same title), Over the rainbow, Twinkle twinkle little star, Simple gifts and Brahms' lullaby. If you've heard one or more of these songs way too often (actually I haven`t), you can be reassured that at least you haven't heard them sound them quite like they sound with Jewel singing them. I've heard plenty of versions of Over the rainbow, several of them brilliant, but Jewel's version is definitely up there among the best.
The original songs that dominate this album find Jewel singing about dreams, birds, animals and angels and they all sound wonderful. There have been other songs titled Sweet dreams, particularly the Patsy Cline classic originally written by and a country hit for Don Gibson, but the song here is definitely an original. So many great songs among the originals make it hard to pick out favorites, so I won't.
You could play this as unobtrusive background music and it won't disturb your concentration, but to appreciate the album in its full majesty, you should take time once in a while to sit back and listen to it without distraction, perhaps following the lyrics that can be found on Jewel's own website.
This is a well crafted album that should appeal to anybody who enjoys mellow, acoustic music. There are echoes of her mega-successful debut album Pieces of the sky in this album, so in one sense it takes Jewel back to her roots.