Chasing Down the Dawn

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Following up her mediocre poetic introduction A Night Without Armor, singer/songwriter Jewel hits upon another piece of personal wordplay in Chasing Down the Dawn. She pulls entries from her journal, intimate takes about her Alaskan childhood, family, and friends, plus hardships for vignettes and depictions of her most heartfelt passions, all of which are captured during savored moments from the 1999 Spirit World Tour. Jewel pulls for the farthest definitions, more complex and a bit unaware that she's not making much sense. The initial flow of Chasing Down the Dawn is smooth, but too dramatic. The way that Jewel has composed the most simple lyrical patterns into dull short stories is actually annoying. Could even Jewel diehards find this appealing? (Possibly for the daydream aspects of the double disc, or merely for the Jewel name alone.) The intellectual level is elementary and flat-out boring for a well-established singer/songwriter. Her singing and cathartic body language are far more moving than the drab sketches of Jewel being a kid. It's a blundering effort in the face of her vivacious debut (Pieces of You) and sultry follow-up (Spirit), and Jewel appears to be consumed by the fact that she's able to do it all. She might very well be that talented, but she is certainly not perfect. Chasing Down the Dawn is unfortunately something less than desired.

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