Editor’s note: As part of CMN’s ongoing music journalism program, we asked our team of music writers to find and write about a physical piece of music (CD, album or cassette) they had no prior knowledge of. You can find out how it all unfolded by browsing our music section.
When searching for new music, I always want to find an album that will motivate, encourage, and move my soul. As I look through the diverse music collection at Walmart, I stumble across Jewel: The Greatest Hits.
There are a few things that strike me about it: First, the artwork. Jewel appears youthful, regal, and she is telling a story through her eyes. Second, the track list. Each song title seems to either have a pivotal or a positive message to follow. Third, I just feel a strong connection when I hold this CD in my hands. I am not sure what it is, but something resonates with me. Finally, a question — why are these songs noted as greatest hits? What makes them so significant?
I start listening to the album on my laptop with my headphones plugged in. As the music starts to play, there is a calmness that enters my spirit. The guitar strings, piano, and harmonizing blends so well together. Jewel’s voice is so versatile, she can transition from singing a soft, subtle whisper to a strong vibrato in a matter of minutes.Jewel takes pride in perfecting her craft because she is conscious about when to hit a particular note to when she wants to capture the audience’s attention by singing a lyric.
When listening to Jewel, I feel relaxed. I close my eyes and my stress disappears. She delivers such a sincere and raw emotion that makes you forget about your fears and doubts. You are able to just be present in the moment.
Jewel is so relatable because not only can she erase stress, but also she can also push you to address pain and confront the past. She talks about love, relationships, saving souls, and much more. She seems to use her life experiences as inspiration: is sharing a little piece of her heart.
She also wants to people to know that there is always light at the end of the tunnel.
On “Who Will Save Your Soul,” Jewel talks about being in a relationship with someone who continues to make bad choices and lacks motivation.
“Who will save your soul when it comes to the flowers now/ Who will save your soul after all the lies that you told, boy/ Who will save your soul if you won’t save your own?”
Here’s a glimpse inside the rest of the album.
Track 2: “You Were Meant For Me (Album Edit) – Jewel reminisces about the past relationship with her significant other. She misses his presence and knows in her heart that they are meant to be together forever.
Track 3: “Foolish Games” – This track is one of my favorites. Jewel talks about how when people do not take situations seriously in a relationship, it can cause a lot heartbreak. She cries out, “These foolish games are tearing me apart/And your thoughtless words are breaking my heart/You’re breaking my heart”
Track 4: “Hands”- Jewel reveals that she experienced a few dark moments in her life, but she did not allow anything to break her spirit.
Track 5:“Down So Long” – Imagine being in a dark place for so long that you are convinced that things cannot get any worse. Jewel wonders if the end is near or will she finally experience a little bit of light.
Track 6: “Jupiter (Swallow the Moon)” (Single Version) – Jewel sings about love and how it can make you have wild thoughts or do a lot of crazy things.
Track 7: “Still Standing” – Here, Jewel questions whether this man she likes is truly in love with her or is it just her imagination.
Track 8: “Break Me” (Radio Remix) – Jewel discusses the love connection that she had with her significant other. She understands that their relationship is over, but she will give anything to feel those tender moments again.
Track 9: “Intuition” – Jewel encourages people to also follow their heart and intuition when making important decisions.
Track 10: “Good Day”- Jewel reassures people that there is happiness after a storm, but you must choose to smile.
Track 11: “Stronger Woman” (Radio Edit) – This track is also one of my favorites. Jewel talks about feeling unwanted in a relationship and how those moments helped build her self-esteem and believe in herself. She sings, “I’m going to be my own best friend/Stick with me till the end/Won’t lose myself again, never, no/Cause there’s a stronger woman/A stronger woman in me”
Track 12: “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”- Jewel adds her own spin to this classic song by singing those soft, sweet angelic notes that feed the soul.
Track 13: “Satisfied” (Radio Edit) –Jewel urges people to tell others that they love them, don’t hesitate. Once this happens, you will be filled with such joy.
Track 14: “You Were Meant For Me” feat. Pistol Annies – Jewel teamed up with the country trio to bring a little extra pizazz. The harmonizing on this record makes everything come together perfectly.
Track 15: “Foolish Games” feat. Kelly Clarkson – Jewel collaborates with Kelly Clarkson on this track. The softness of Jewel’s voice and Kelly’s strong vibrato creates pure magic.
Track 16: “Two Hearts Breaking” – In the final track, Jewel talks about being unified with her significant other. She feels they complement each other and that is the best feeling in the world. She sings, “We are one whole drowning soul/We’re the crash, the burn/The dream that turns from ecstasy to aching/We are the sound of/We are the sound of two hearts breaking”
All of these songs are greatest hits because Jewel takes people on a pivotal journey. She is open and honest about her struggles, which makes her appear vulnerable and relatable.
Jewel heals broken hearts, builds self-esteem, and gives you the strength to believe in yourself again.
If you obsess over singers and bands, and are one of those people who make a playlist for every occasion, join CMN’s Music Journalism Course and get real-time experience, intense feedback on your writing, exposure to music industry insiders, and a great place to display build your portfolio. Get all the details on the Music Journalism Course here.
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