Release Date: May 2, 2006
Record label: Atlantic
Genre(s): Rock, Pop, Singer-Songwriter
The last time listeners encountered Jewel, the famously sensitive singer/songwriter had just performed an extreme makeover on herself, refashioning herself as a dance-pop diva on 2003's 0304. Artistically, it worked against all odds, and it did pretty well on the charts too, debuting at number two on the Billboard Hot 100, but her fans didn't necessarily warm to it, and three years later, Jewel is running away from the album she proclaimed as her "first record I enjoy listening to" ("It's fun!"), and back to safe territory with 2006's Goodbye Alice in Wonderland. Like 0304, this album comes with an explanation/apology from its auteur: "Goodbye Alice in Wonderland is the story of my life and is the most autobiographical album I have made since Pieces of You.
On stage, Alaska's only claim to pop fame has a snappy wit, but you wouldn't know it from her albums, which present her as a cross between Alanis Morissette and Sheryl Crow. This time, though, some of Jewel's twittery soul-searching has been replaced by healthy cynicism - a quality she must possess in abundance after a history that includes playing in biker bars at the age of eight and living in a car. It's certainly there on the song Good Day, which opens with her standing in front of her fridge at midnight, drawling: "I might make a wish - if I believed in that shit." That sets the tone for this autobiographical sixth album, which charts Jewel's "bizarre" journey to selling 25m records.