All The Ways Jewel Is Meant For You

Jewel’s appearance onto the music scene came at a time when women were finally emerging as the stronger sex in the industry. Festivals like the Lilith Fair and the profitability of female artists like Sheryl Crow and Alanis Morissette set the stage for a new era in a previously male-dominated business. It was appropriate, then, that Jewel’s first album, Pieces of You, released in 1995, came out during this 90s paradigm shift.

Album cover for Pieces of You
Album cover for Pieces of You
The first single, “Who Will Save Your Soul,” (no question mark required), gave Jewel exposure and traction on radio airwaves, eventually propping up the album to number four on the Billboard charts. Following were the even more successful singles, “You Were Meant For Me” and “Foolish Games.” In spite of Jewel’s often downtrodden lyrics and slow musical tempo, she didn’t seem to have too much difficulty in garnering the favor of the mainstream. Her listeners, usually women of a certain age group, found comfort in the sorrow Jewel depicted. It all goes back to the old adage, “Misery loves company.”
"Who Will Save Your Soul" was Jewel's first single
“Who Will Save Your Soul” was Jewel’s first single
After three years, Jewel released her sophomore album, Spirit, which also saw steady sales and a hit single in the form of “Hands” (later revived by Lena Dunham in an episode of Girls, but let’s not forget that Dawson’s Creek actually once played this song without irony). As the 90s drew to a close, however, Jewel began to lose her cachet, not really having a place in a musical landscape rife with hip hop. Her last chart-topping album was 2003’s 0304, though she has released many since then, to little fanfare.
Album cover for Jewel's second album, Spirit
Album cover for Jewel’s second album, Spirit
Regardless of her lack of continued favor, Jewel is an artist who deserves reverence, if for nothing other than her attack against Kurt Loder after he called her out for her use of the word “casualty” in a book of poetry she wrote in 1998. Her retort: “You’re a smart ass for pointing that out.”