Dreams last for so long, even after you’re gone…
‘What we call human nature in actuality is human habit‘ – were the words Jewel Kilcher used to sum up her soul-baring pop-folk début album, ‘Pieces Of You‘ – undoubtedly a landmark in pop music history. Released in 1995, the album initially sank without making much of an impact at all, until relentless touring, some incredible music videos, cleverly chosen singles and a re-packaging later – ‘Pieces Of You‘ reached dizzying heights of success, making Jewel one of the most recognizable faces in music, 2 years after the initial release of the album. It was one of those albums you needed to own if you knew your music well.
What attracted me to Jewel’s début album was the potent blend of endearing simplicity and lush melodies that defined the very essence of the album. ‘Pieces Of You‘ was driven entirely by Jewel’s naïve, innocent and raw vocals – occasionally soaring to a deep throaty boom (mostly evident on ‘Who Will Save Your Soul‘ and ‘Foolish Games‘ – two of her biggest hits from the album) – accompanied all the way by her trusty acoustic guitar.
My favorite song from the album was and still is the stunning ‘You Were Meant For Me‘ – a song that explores the fundamental emotions one goes through while unable to comprehend the aftermath of a failed relationship. The irresistible charm of the melody and the candid heartfelt lyrics that subtly encompasses the inability to move on after a break-up stuck in my head ever since I played the rickety cassette of ‘Pieces Of You‘ on my funky two-in-one for the first time. Haven’t we all been there though? And yet we could never express feelings so complex in words so simple.
‘I go about my business, I’m doing fine
Besides what would I say if I had you on the line
Same old story, not much to say
Hearts are broken, everyday.’
The vulnerability is palpable especially towards the outro of the song when Jewel’s crystalline voice almost quivers and breaks while the acoustic guitar accompanies the words ‘And I..Was Meant For You‘ till the song ends.
The chart performance of ‘You Were Meant For Me‘ was unprecedented – peaking at # 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart, the song spent an astounding 65 weeks on the charts, tallying only behind Leann Rimes’ ‘How Do I Live Without You‘ (69 weeks), eventually winning the 1997 MTV VMA for Best Female Video. ‘Pieces Of You‘ went on to become one of the most successful début albums of all time, rising to # 4 on the Billboard 200 Albums Chart and being certified an incredible 12 times Platinum in the US alone, certifying sales of over 12 million units.
Check out the Lawrence Carroll directed music video for one of my fave songs of all time, the classic ‘You Were Meant For Me‘ right here :