Down to Earth is the second album by Jem, the follow-up to her successful 2004 debut, Finally Woken. The first single, "It's Amazing", was featured on the soundtrack to the Sex and the City movie. In August 2008, "Crazy" was released as a single on iTunes and other digital music outlets. By January 2009, "Keep on Walking" was distributed as a free iTunes download at US Starbucks stores.
The press release states that Jem co-wrote the album with a variety of people including Jeff Bass, Lester Mendez and Greg Kurstin and sings in Japanese on the track, "Aciiid!". The album also includes a collaboration with South African singer-songwriter and poet-activist Vusi Mahlasela on the track "You Will Make It" recalling 9/11, and dealing with the suffering of loss. The album entered the Billboard 200 at No. 43, selling 10,642 copies.
Jem wrote in her blog on 20 September 2008:
On this note, I'd like to apologize to everyone outside of the US as you might have noticed the album has not been released at the same time. It has been slightly delayed which was not intended and is not ideal but it's out of my hands (politics again, yawn…I probably shouldn't have called it my 'Empire Strikes Back' from the beginning, that's dark shit man..!)
In September 2008, Jem's official website stated the following about the album title:
Down To Earth, also implies, Jem remains grounded. Perhaps that has something to do with her early experiences behind-the-scenes....,/But mostly, it stems from the fact that her prime motivation remains the joy of writing, recording, and performing music. Everything else is gravy./One last thought on that album title: No matter how rapturous a reception she receives, Jem shows no interest in the fame game.