Last Updated on April 9, 2022 by Lil Ginge
Jewel is known for creating music in a variety of genres and styles including folk, rock, pop, and country music. But what genre is Jewel really? Some consider Jewel’s early music a kind of soft rock that touches on the music of the early 1970s, but that she updated it with the musical canvas of the mid-1990s. But she did not stay firmly in place over time.
The stunning singer-guitarist-songwriter’s genre is a bit hard to pin down because she’s shifted so much from album to album. But ultimately, one could classify Jewel broadly as a folk-rock musician who also dabbles in pop, country, and dance music from time to time. She’s also influenced by elements of the blues and jazz, especially bing band swing.
When Genres Are Jewel’s Albums?
Jewel’s debut album, Pieces of You, was an out-and-out folk album, a rarity among the blockbuster hits amidst the grunge and jam-happy pop-rock of the mid-90s mainstream music scene. Mostly quiet and acoustic guitar-based, Pieces of You could feat neatly into a genre that has also boasted artists like Bob Dylan – an early champion of Jewel, Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, and Paul Simon, among many others.
Jewel’s second album, Spirit, takes the folk foundation and plugs in much the way Bob Dylan himself did after being inspired by his love of The Beatles. It adds a number of much louder and more forceful musicianship including both layered acoustic and electric guitars, keyboards, electric pianos, and Hammond B-3 organs. The album sits at home nice with mid-to-late-90s acoustic-driven adult rock.
With her fourth studio album, This Way, birthed a dance remix of her song “Serve The Ego” that became a number one club hit for the folk rocker. This paved the way for Jewel officially releasing her first (and only) pop-dance album in 2003, titled 0304. She has described the album as both “fun” and the first one she’s honestly enjoyed listening to for herself.
Perfectly Clear was Jewel’s first official country album, released in 2008. Upon its debut, it topped the Billboard Top Country Albums Report in the #1 spot. The album also spawned three singles: “Stronger Woman”, “I Do”, and “Til It Feels Like Cheating.” Jewel recorded the album for Valory Music, a division of Big Machine Records, and co-produced it with singer-songwriter John Rich. Many of Jewel’s heroes growing up were country musicians including Loretta Lynn, Kris Kristofferson, and Merle Haggard.
Other Albums and Genres
Jewel released a second country album in 2010 called Sweet and Wild. However, this would be the last country record she’d put out, as she eyed a return to prior genres that had made her successful in her youth.
Picking Up the Pieces, an album released in 2015, was hailed as a return to genre form and meant to be similar in style to Pieces of You. But in truth, the album still touches on many of Jewel’s other genres including the pop, rock, and country music touches of her prior albums.
Jewel has also released albums in specialty genres including both holiday music and children’s music. Jewel’s third album, Joy: A Holiday Collection is her first contribution to the holiday genre and, in Lil Ginge’s opinion, one of the more perfect contributions to holiday music there is. She created a sequel to this album called Let It Snow: A Holiday Collection in 2013.
Jewel released her first children’s album, called Lullaby, in 2009 and did so independently. Her follow-up children’s album is called The Merry Goes‘Round and was released in 2011. Her next album, scheduled to be released this year, is called Freewheelin’ Woman, and while the Bob Dylan reference of the title is pretty obvious, it will remain to be seen whether Jewel’s next genre is folk, pop, rock, dance, country or maybe even polka! (I hope it’s polka).
If you enjoyed this article on what genre Jewel fits into, also check out my article on Jewel’s album Pieces of You.