MUSIC REVIEW: Jewel

Goodbye Alice in Wonderland Atlantic
Music •• Sound ••••
Jewel's attempt to recast herself as a dance-pop diva with 2003's 0304 fell on largely indifferent ears, so for Album No. 6 she returns to her folk-pop roots. Alas, between her propensity for overarching drama (and clichés) and coproducer Rob Cavallo's preference for super-glossy arrangements, these tunes have an AOR/MOR blandness that turns everything into Splenda-sweet pudding. Jewel's more Carole Bayer Sager than King. Worse, her attempt at social commentary in "Stephenville, TX" is puffed up with the self-importance of the people she's allegedly critiquing.

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