Up until last month, Jewel was perhaps the last artist from the 90s who still hadn’t put out a greatest hits album but was probably the one who most needed to do so. From the release of her second single, 1996’s You Were Meant For Me, she became somewhat known for her tendency to re-record songs for their radio/video release. By the time she made the move to country music on her 6th record in 2008, nearly half of the singles she released were promoted as a remix, whether for radio or for the dance clubs.
Jewel’s Greatest Hits covers her entire career, surprisingly even singles from her recent country albums and a track from the children’s lullabies collection she recorded a few years ago. The gems, obviously, are the hits that made Jewel a household name and helped make singer/songwriters such a big deal in the late 90s.
While the collection only scratches the surface of her discography that consists of ten studio albums, it’s perfect for a casual fan or anyone nostalgic for the 90s. This compilation will fit perfectly next to Sheryl Crow‘s Best Of, Melissa Etheridge‘s The Road Less Traveled and Alanis Morissette‘s The Collection – for those who are still fans of owning the CD.
Perhaps the most surprising aspect of this collection though is the realization that Jewel’s career as a pop star was relatively short. The first half of the album consists of the hits while the second half are obligatory inclusions from her later albums, including the two aforementioned country records. There’s definitely some leeway as to what songs could have been included but for the most part, it’s hard to argue with what they did go with since every era of Jewel’s career is represented here.
Three new recordings were made for the set including one brand new song, Two Hearts Breaking. That song is Jewel’s first pop recording since 2005 though her time recording country pop music has influenced her singing style enough to show it on this track, which also serves as the album’s promotional single. The other two recordings are covers of her two biggest hits. Foolish Games features fellow pop/(occasionally)country star Kelly Clarkson who breathes new life into the song without taking anything away from it. A fantastic cover that serves as a highlight on the album’s second half. The other features the Pistol Annies on You Were Meant For Me that has a nice country flavour but by the bridge, it falls apart. This cover is ultimately unnecessary, especially since the original radio version has already served its purpose.
This greatest hits is a necessary addition for the 90s fans and old fans of Jewel, thanks to the radio remixes. It’s too bad remixes for her other singles like Morning Song, What’s Simple Is True and This Way were left off here and it would have been a nice bonus to have versions of her dance singles Serve The Ego, Stand and Only One Two. The fact is, if Jewel were more in demand, she’d have more than enough material to justify a second collection of songs and b-sides. Since she’s not, this album is worth settling for.
1. Who Will Save Your Soul
2. You Were Meant For Me*
3. Foolish Games*
5. Down So Long
6. Jupiter (Swallow The Moon)*
7. Standing Still
8. Break Me*
10. Good Day
11. Stronger Woman
12. Somewhere Over The Rainbow
14. You Were Meant For Me [featuring Pistol Annies]
15. Foolish Games [featuring Kelly Clarkson]
16. Two Hearts Breaking