#138 Jewel – Pieces Of You (1995)

Jewel was just a “doe-eyed”20 year old when she released Pieces Of You in 1995 after being discovered playing in a coffee-house in San Diego. She could not have imagined how quickly her life was about to change forever.From the first time I heard her voice on “Who Will Save Your Soul” it was angelic,beautiful and mesmerizing. It took awhile for this album to gain legs but when it did it ran like the wind, to the tune of 12 million copies sold in the United States. While “Who Will Save Your Soul” would be a hit single, it would be the albums second single that would define this record and her career.”You Were Meant For Me” was a collaborative effort with fellow San Diego singer/songwriter Steve Poltz that the two had written together on a trip to Mexico, which has become the famous “Mexican Drug Bust” story. I’ve heard this song so many times thru the years, by both Jewel & Steve, that you sometimes forget what a beautiful tune it is and what an incredible voice Jewel has. The song at one time was the longest charting single in Billboards chart history, spending an astounding 65 weeks in the Hot 100. It has been passed a couple of times since then

Poltz & Jewel performing "YWMFM" @ St.Kate's in St.Paul July 2005

with the new longest charting song being “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz (who by coincidence lives in San Diego). The 3rd Top 10 single off of this CD was “Foolish Games”, a heart tugging piano ballad. There were other stong songs on this offering besides just the hits. “Morning Song” is a wonderful little ballad about wanting to just stay in bed with someone instead of getting up to face the problems of the day. The social conciseness of “Pieces Of You”, which lulls you in the beginning and then turns angry while maintaining the same easy tone throughout.This album as a whole was an acoustic folk record that focuses on the lyrics and spotlights her voice. There is a heaviness and seriousness to this effort that you would not experience had you just listened to the 3 Top 10 hits that the record spawned. When you see Jewel live you gain such an appreciation for how genuine and amazing her voice truly is and that it isn’t a product of studio doctoring. While Jewel’s career has produced some great songs post Pieces Of You, it has also been hit and miss. She has traveled many

musical roads from pop to dance to folk and now to country, but the success of Pieces Of You is something that may be impossible to ever achieve again. Two notes to add. In the video for “You Were Meant For Me” it is Steve Poltz that appears in it with her. On her first country album she included the song “Everything Reminds Me Of You” which she co-wrote with Joe Firstman, who also appears on this blog.

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