Back at the turn of the millennium when reigning pop queen Madonna ditched her rock edge to reinvent herself as a dance diva the move was heralded as bold, hell even revolutionary!But three-year's later when intelligent, sensitive and always serious singer/songwriter Jewel suddenly drops her erstwhile folksiness to make a teen dance album it all seems well, a little lame and desperate. The recipe is simple though: after experiencing flagging sales, Jewel has given herself a cosmetic and artistic makeover.
Hiring Shakira producer Lester A. Mendez to give her solemn songs a buoyant disco sheen, she delivers punchy entertainment but fails to provide much musical depth or artistic creativity. For an artistic change in direction, Jewel chose the safest, most travelled route. From the cheesy accordions and dance beats on "Intuition"; to her wannabe electro-crash infused pseudo protest tune, "America," to the Nelly Furtado rip off "Leave the Lights On", 0304 comes across as lame and contrived.And if the music isn't bad enough the diminutive Alaskan-raised folky also insists on sashaying on the silver screen in those tight bodices and hoop skirts. In future Jewel would do best to stick with the sensitive poetry and leave the sexy stuff to the real hard bodies.
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