Kat: I'm not an Enya hater but I'm not an Enya lover. I'm just neutral to her charms. I do respect what she's done with music and I wonder a lot about that in terms of others. Enya was never part of Lilith Fair. Most of the women who were appear lost today and, honestly, appeared lost about two years after the first Lilith Fair festival was staged.
Her eight other albums are folk-based pop, dance music, country, alternative, you name it.
The only one that ever disappointed me was SPIRIT, her second album. It was her follow up to her massive selling PIECES OF YOU. It was released the same month that Alanis Morissette released her JAGGE LITTLE PILL follow up SUPPOSED FORMER INFATUATION JUNKIE.
Both were disappointments. I might have enjoyed Jewel more if Alanis hadn't already failed expectations. But SPIRIT was a disappointment -- despite having one of her all time great songs on the album ("Hands").
I have no idea what Jewel was trying to do on that album. But I would judge all that followed strong and worthy albums. She's grown with each one and that allows for something like FREEWHEELIN' WOMAN which is kind of folk, kind of pop, kind of country, kind of soul, kind of rock. It allows her to gather all she's learned from the other albums.
Maybe not all that she's learned about the music business. I don't get some artists today. Last year, vinyl overtook CDs in sales. So I don't get, for example, why Chase Rice did not release THE ALBUM on vinyl or, for that matter, why Jewel has no plans to release FREEWHEELIN' WOMAN on vinyl until October.
It makes no sense and it makes them look out of touch -- even if it's the label's decision, the artists are the one this reflects poorly upon.
I bought the digital version of the album. I would've purchased a vinyl copy -- especially due to the album cover which is a photograph I love -- I love the angle, I love the contrast of colors, it's just a perfect album cover.
Fortunately, the music lives up to the cover.
Outside of Bellingham, I
Broke down to understand, I
Got tired of following my feet
You know I been a free wheeling woman, oh
Became its own kind of prison though
Wondering what could ever satisfy me
Guess I stopped long enough to
Crash in to the thought of you
Guess I knew I would eventually
Oh, but you can't outrun
That kind a lovin' and those things we've done
Guess I'll always be, ooh
Living with your memory
Yeah, I'm living with your memory, yeah
Your memory loves me better
Than any man has done
Your memory loves me longer and
Keeps me on the run
"Living With Your Memory" is an amazing song -- lyrically and musically. And it's not even the strongest on the album.
Jewel came to national attention in 1995 and there are a number of artists in various strands of the entertainment world that we look back on now and wonder what we ever saw in them? But that's not the case with Jewel. Her vocals are stronger and she's an artist who truly has grown.
On "No More Tears," she more than holds her own with Darius Rucker and it may be one of the best duets since Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Neville teamed up for "Don't Know Much."
And speaking of teaming up, she'll be touring this summer with Train:
I don't usually include tour dates but, if you see her this summer, you should see her and Train perform "Dancing Slow" -- a great song they do on her new album.
FREEWHEELIN' WOMAN is an album worth checking out.