Pieces of You

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Pieces of You is a charming debut that is somewhat undone by its own naïveté. Jewel has a rich voice and an innocent, beguiling charm that makes "Who Will Save Your Soul," "I'm Sensitive," and "You Were Meant for Me" -- songs with slight, simple lyrics and catchy, sweet melodies -- quite endearing; they sound like a high-school diary brought to life. Songs this simple and sweet need clean, direct arrangements, but Pieces of You was largely recorded live, which means it often sounds ragged and rough. "Who Will Save Your Soul," "You Were Meant for Me," and "Foolish Games" were all re-recorded before they became hit singles, and all three are superior in their single versions, since these live album cuts sound hurried. It's an unfortunate situation, since the slapdash production emphasizes the awkwardness of the lesser songs. Still, Pieces of You has enough charm to make it an ingratiating debut, even if the album doesn't quite fulfill Jewel's potential.

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