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Release Date: 06.03.03
Record label: Atlantic
Genre(s): Rock


The Road Most Traveled
by: clint poole

While many Jewel fans are busy debating the merits and losses of the regressive move the singer made from alt-folk hero to bubble-gum pop singer, on its own accord 0304 is a solid, fun pop-album in line with the best works of Britney, Shakira, and the modern Madonna. 0304 provides fourteen ample pop/dance tracks laden with traditional feminine subject matter: love, heartbreak, and strength, as seen through a teenybopper’s eyes. The album does not reach the spiritual depth of Jewel’s previous work, as this album has her metamorphosing into a more simple, surface level diva.

0304 is produced by Shakira’s producer Lester Mendez, which tells you all you need to know about the album’s direction. Most of the tracks, like “Stand” and “2 Become 1,” serve up pleasant dance beats with catchy lyrics that move the songs along smoothly, and fans will be pleased to see her display the rich lyrical strength that has become her trademark on “2 Find U.” However, while I don’t want to start any conspiracy theories, the chorus of the lead radio track “Intuition” sounds an awful lot like Siouxsie & the Banshees’ “Peek-a-boo”. Just throwing it out there, you be the judge.

The album delivers punchy entertainment but fails to provide much musical depth or artistic creativity. For an artistic change in direction, Jewel chose the safest, most traveled route. If you were captivated by Jewel’s previous soulful work, leave this one on the shelf, but if you happen to own the soundtrack from Dawson’s Creek, this is a perfect fit for your collection. 23-Jun-2003 9:07 AM