Jewel Awakens Fans with ‘Lullaby’

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She’s one of the most eclectic artists working today, yet somehow it’s always a surprise to learn what Jewel is going to do next. Country fans, for instance, were somewhat taken aback in 2008, when the prolific singer-songwriter released ‘Perfectly Clear,’ a mainstream country album produced by John Rich, with whom she worked as a judge on ‘Nashville Star.’ That led to a spot on the Brad Paisley Paisley Party tour and exposure to even more country fans.

But no matter what genre she embraces, Alaskan-born Jewel Kilcher is first and foremost a storyteller. And although the stories she’s telling on her latest album, ‘Lullaby,’ may seem tailored for children, a closer listen will reveal that this isn’t kid’s stuff. Sure, it might help to get the young ones to sleep at night, but more to the point, the familiar and unfamiliar among the 15 songs (10 of which she wrote), are really just part of what the artist calls a “mood” record. “It’s all just mellow music to come home to, and to relax to,” says Jewel, who, as she celebrates her 35th birthday this month, finds herself in one of the most mellow, relaxed phases of what has been, by all accounts, an extraordinary life.

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