Spirit (Jewel album)

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Jewel - Spirit.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedNovember 17, 1998 (1998-11-17)
GenreFolk rock
Jewel chronology
Pieces of You
This Way
Singles from Spirit
  1. "Hands"
    Released: October 16, 1998
  2. "Down So Long"
    Released: February 28, 1999
  3. "Jupiter"
    Released: August 17, 1999
  4. "What's Simple Is True"
    Released: October 12, 1999
  5. "Life Uncommon"
    Released: April 13, 2000
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic3/5 stars [1]
Entertainment Weekly(B-) [2]
Rolling Stone3/5 stars [3]

Spirit is the second studio album by American singer-songwriter Jewel, released in 1998 by Atlantic Records. Singles include "Hands", "Down So Long", and a newly recorded version of "Jupiter", followed by a remix of "What's Simple Is True" to promote Jewel's debut film Ride with the Devil. In addition, a one-track CD containing a live version of "Life Uncommon" was released to music stores in hopes to raise money and awareness for Habitat for Humanity.

Spirit debuted at number 3 on the Billboard 200 with 368,000 copies sold in its first week. It eventually sold 3.7 million units in the U.S.[4]


Kilcher began writing material for Spirit after the release of Pieces of You in 1995.[5] In 1996, she recorded six songs with producer Peter Collins, but scrapped the tracks after singles from her debut album, Pieces of You, began to receive significant radio play.[5]

In a 1998 interview, she divulged that the song "Fat Boy" was written about a boy she grew up with who committed suicide on her family's property in Alaska: "There was a note [he left] that said some thing along the lines of, 'Nobody will love me,.' And to know that you're not sexually attractive in our society at age thirteen or to feel that you won't ever be loved at age eighteen is just devastating."[5] She also stated that the song "Hands" was written based on the notion of: "if I watch what my hands do, I'd have a better idea of what I was thinking, consciously or subconsciously."[5]


Spirit was recorded at Groove Masters in Santa Monica, California, and Oceanway Studios in Hollywood.[1] Jewel recorded the album with producer Patrick Leonard (who frequently had worked with Madonna), who added percussive undercurrents and keyboards to the guitar-based tracks.[5]


David Browne of Entertainment Weekly wrote of the album: "With her dulcet voice and lulling refrains, Jewel makes the social and political ills of the world go down easy. But in doing so, she unintentionally confounds the problem, since her honeyed background-music folk makes issues of life and death appear more benign and less worrisome than they are. Jewel truly has brought topical folk songs into the modern age: She makes complacent rabble-rousers."[2] Rolling Stone's Rob Sheffield awarded the album three out of five stars.[3]

Jon Pareles of The New York Times compared Jewel's vocal mannerisms on the album to those of Joni Mitchell, Stevie Nicks, Michael Stipe, and Rickie Lee Jones, adding that "half the songs...reach an otherworldly tenderness, redeeming the lyrics through the grace of the music."[6] Wendy Bareles of CNN praised Jewel's vocals on the album, though added: "In the funky, accusatory "Who Will Save Your Soul" on the first album, Jewel dropped to a growl to ask, "Who will save your soul after the lies that you told, boy." Songs in the new collection such as "Hands" and "Kiss The Flame" are, by contrast, pleasant folky confections that don't distinguish themselves musically or lyrically."[7]

Track listing[edit]

1."Deep Water"Jewel Kilcher4:16
2."What's Simple Is True"Kilcher3:34
4."Kiss the Flame"Kilcher3:17
5."Down So Long"Kilcher4:13
6."Innocence Maintained"Kilcher4:08
8."Fat Boy"Kilcher2:54
9."Enter from the East"Kilcher4:02
11."Life Uncommon"Kilcher4:56
12."Do You"Kilcher4:21
13."Absence of Fear" (hidden track: "This Little Bird")Kilcher / John D. Loudermilk7:25

Charts and certifications[edit]



Technical personnel

  • Peter Collins – production
  • Patrick Leonard – production
  • Ross Hogarth – engineering
  • Christopher Shaw – engineering
  • Robi Banerji – assistant engineering
  • David Channing – assistant engineering
  • Sebastian Haimerl – assistant engineering
  • Bob Salcedo – assistant engineering
  • John Sorenson – assistant engineering
  • Katy Teasdale – assistant engineering
  • Ross Hogarth – mixing
  • Kevin Killen – mixing
  • Bob Ludwig – mastering
  • Patrick Leonard – programming
  • Jeremy Lubbock – string arrangements
  • Edd Kolakowski – piano technician

Art personnel

  • Brenda Rotheiser – art direction
  • Brenda Rotheiser – design
  • Jeanne Greco – artwork
  • Matthew Rolston – photography
  • Danny Flynn – stylist
  • Chris McMillan – hair stylist
  • Troy Jensen – makeup


  1. ^ a b Spirit at AllMusic. Retrieved December 17, 2017.
  2. ^ a b Browne, David (November 20, 1998). "Spirit Review | Music Reviews and News". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 17, 2017.
  3. ^ a b Sheffield, Rob (November 24, 1998). "Jewel : Spirit : Music Reviews". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on February 12, 2007. Retrieved December 17, 2017.
  4. ^ "Ask Billboard: Jewel, Ciara, Ricky Martin". Billboard. Retrieved July 26, 2013.
  5. ^ a b c d e Strauss, Neil (December 24, 1998). "A Search for Truth About Jewel". Rolling Stone. Retrieved December 17, 2017.
  6. ^ Pareles, Jon (November 24, 1998). "POP REVIEW; Whatever Love May Be, At Heart It's Ever Powerful". The New York Times. Retrieved December 17, 2017.
  7. ^ Brandes, Wendy (November 24, 1998). "New Jewel album lacking in Spirit". Retrieved December 17, 2017.
  8. ^ "Spirit - Australian chart run". Australian-charts.com. Retrieved September 29, 2008.
  9. ^ "Spirit - Austria chart run". Austriancharts.at. Retrieved September 30, 2008.
  10. ^ "アルバム売上ランキング" (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved July 16, 2012.
  11. ^ "Spirit - New Zealand chart run". charts.org.nz. Retrieved September 29, 2008.
  12. ^ "Spirit - Dutch chart run". Dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved September 30, 2008.
  13. ^ "Spirit - France chart run". lescharts.com. Retrieved September 30, 2008.
  14. ^ "Spirit - Sweden chart run". Swedishcharts.com. Retrieved September 30, 2008.
  15. ^ "Spirit (Jewel)". German Charts (in German). Retrieved April 27, 2015.
  16. ^ "Spirit - Switzerland chart run". hitparade.ch. Retrieved September 30, 2008.
  17. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved November 25, 2013.
  18. ^ "Jewel - UK chart history 1994-2006". zobbel.de. Retrieved September 29, 2008.
  19. ^ "Jewel - Artist Chart History". Allmusic. Retrieved September 29, 2007.
  20. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2000 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association.
  21. ^ "Dutch album certifications – Jewel – Pieces of You" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Enter Pieces of You in the "Artiest of titel" box.
  22. ^ "New Zealand album certifications – Jewel – Spirit". Recorded Music NZ.
  23. ^ "British album certifications – Jewel – Spirit". British Phonographic Industry. Select albums in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Spirit in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  24. ^ "American album certifications – Jewel – Spirit". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 

External links[edit]