Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Jewel, "Satisfied"

I have nothing but respect for this amazing singer and songwriter. She initially made a name for herself in pop and adult contemporary music, but her songs have always been influenced by country music. In 2008, she released her first full-fledged country album, Perfectly Clear. I, for one, was ready to welcome her to the country genre with open arms. The first single, "Stronger Woman," charted at a respectable #13, but Jewel has since been absent from the country Top 20. Now she is back with her second country album, Sweet and Wild, set for a June 8 release. After the first single, "Stay Here Forever," stalled at #34, Jewel takes another shot at the country charts with the follow-up called "Satisfied."

That ever-familiar voice sounds lovely as ever on this new single. She sings in a soft and sweet whisper, and then raises her voice to belt out the chorus. Throughout the song, she oozes emotion in a truly showstopping performance.

The song, as described by Jewel herself in her video blog, is about "letting somebody know you love them while you can." One of the song's strongest traits is the fact that it has a message. That message is 'Don't hide the love you feel for someone, because if you do, you will come to regret it.' The point is emphasized by a series of questions in the chorus: So did you say it?/ Did you mean it?/ Did you lay it on the line?/... Cause if you did, hon/ Then you've loved some/ And that feeling inside/ That's called satisfied." The song emphasizes the importance of not letting day-to-day activities get in the way of showing love for that special someone. "Satisfied" is another classic example of the outstanding songwriting that Jewel has received high praise for throughout her career.

The song's main weaknesses are in the production. Much of Jewel's previous country material had even more country flavor than that of artists who had always been considered country. But the production of "Satisfied" leans more toward pop - polished pop, as opposed to the soft acoustic-based pop that Jewel was previously known for. Token steel guitar fills are the main feature that gives the song country credibility. That's not enough to make a distinction between Jewel's country music and her pop music.

But that doesn't stop "Satisfied" from being a strong performance. It's strengths outweigh its weaknesses. It was definitely enough to leave me more than satisfied.

(Scores are given on a scale of 1 to 10)