Once applauded for her introspective songs and uniquely intriguing voice, it is disappointing to hear that both strengths are imperceptible in this trainwreck of a song. As a result, “embarrassing” is the only word that aptly describes Jewel’s latest single, “Stay Here Forever.”
Produced by Nathan Chapman (yes, Taylor Swift), “Stay Here Forever” sounds like a Swift castoff. In other words, it sounds as though it is purposely reaching to be like a Swift song, but still manages to miss the mark by not sounding nearly as credible. Sure, the bouncy guitar riff, the “oohs” “ahs”, and exaggerated, childish nasal voice are all there, but it just doesn’t sound natural coming from a thirty-six year-old woman whose music career first consisted of a well-respected album full of much more mature material than lyrics such as “’Cause if you wanna go/Baby, let’s go/If you wanna rock/
I’m ready to roll.”
While it is nice that Jewel has chosen to continue courting the country market after her first country album was only marginally successful, it is a shame that she is pursuing it in this way. Not only has it met with cringeworthy results, but it is a waste of good talent that we happen to already know exists, which is the real kicker.
Listen: Jewel, “Stay Here Forever”