It's been 10 years now since Jewel released 0304 and loosed the sell-out police on herself, trading in hyper-earnest folk for a dance-pop single in which she declared herself "a simple girl / in a high-tech digital world." It was all knowing and wink-wink — at least theoretically — but it was exactly the kind of thing Jewel's hyper-earnest Pieces of You fans would have trouble with. Since then, she's returned to her old sound (2006's Goodbye Alice in Wonderland), made the inevitable country turn (2008's Perfectly Clear), and released a children's album (Lullaby, 2009). So which is the real Jewel? The country version is the one you're most likely to see; she went back to it for her last album, in 2010, and re-recorded "You Were Meant for Me" with Miranda Lambert and the Pistol Annies for her Greatest Hits record earlier this year. But the real Jewel, if her discography is any indication, is all and none of those personas: She's just somebody who writes wordy, sometimes hooky, pop songs and has never quite known where to put them. 0304 wasn't a sell-out move so much as another unsuccessful attempt at finding a genre where she felt at home. So if you like the songs, then go watch her play them — just be prepared for whichever style she ends up playing them in.
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