On September 16th, 1998, Jewel completed recording her sophomore album,Spirit. During recording Jewel had a bit of trouble deciding on the title for the album. While she originally intended to title it Spirit, she at one point had changed the the title to Hands . After much consideration she went back to the original title, and on November 17th, 1998, Spirit was in the stores. Recording took place in Los Angeles and was produced by Patrick Leonard, who has produced for Madonna in the past. The studio was located near a stable where Jewel could spend her breaks horseback riding.

While not as raw as her debut album, it is still well worth the money. These tracks are more refined than the ones on Pieces of You, yet her unmistakable open nature and charm are still very much intact. This is evident just by taking a look at the cd insert. The quotes and pictures made the cd a good buy before I got it into my player. The album contains thirteen tracks as well as a bonus track. The thirteen listed tracks on the album were all written by Jewel, with the exception of Hands, which was co-written by Patrick Leonard. She cites the stories, encouragement, and prayers of her fans as the inspiration for the album.

The album's first single is Hands. There is a quote from the song that Jewel has been saying for years "In the end only kindness matters". That sentiment continues as the theme throughout the rest of the album.

Down So Long is the second single of the album. Unlike most of these tracks Down So Long isn't all about poetic lyrics. There's a hip-hop touch in the rhythm section on the song confirmed in the third verse when Jewel actually raps for about two bars. It peaked high in several charts around the world, but it didn't do as well as Hands.1

The third and fourth singles Jupiter(Swallow the Moon) and Life Uncommon did not do nearly as well as the first two. Jupiter recieved a bit of airplay, barely braking into the charts, while Life Uncommon went all but unnoticed.

The bonus track is the the song "This Little Bird" which was written by James D Loudermilk. The song is performed by Lenedra "Nedra" Carroll who is Jewel's Mother as well as her manager. Jewel does appear in the song performing the harmony vocals. Jewel mentions in the credits that "Listening to my Mother sing this song to me as a child is one of my first memories."2

Overall the album has done well, upon its release it held the #3 spot on the Billboard 200 and achieved Gold Status in its first week. It has also earned three Certified Platinum Awards, the third of which was given on January 15th, 1999.

2 www.vh1.com/artists/az/jewel/bio.jhtml

Track List

  1. Deep Water 4:16
  2. What's Simple is True 3:34
  3. Hands 3:54
  4. Kiss the Flame 3:17
  5. Down So Long 4:13
  6. Innocence Maintained 4:08
  7. Jupiter 4:18
  8. Fat Boy 2:54
  9. Enter From the East 4:02
  10. Barcelona 3:53
  11. Life Uncommon 4:56
  12. Do You 4:21
  13. Absence of Fear* 3:43

* also bonus track This Little Bird 2:43