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Sweet and Wild (album)

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Sweet and Wild
Sweet and Wild album cover.jpg
Studio album by
Jewel
ReleasedJune 8, 2010 (US)
ProducerJewel & Nathan Chapman
LabelValory Music Group
Length39:27

Sweet and Wild is Jewel's ninth studio album. It was released on June 8, 2010, through Valory Music Group as her second country album with the label. The song "Stay Here Forever" was released as a single from the soundtrack of Valentine's Day and as the lead-off single to the album. It was a minor Top 30 hit on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. The album's second single, "Satisfied", was released on May 17, 2010, and debuted at #59 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart for the week of June 19, 2010. The album debuted at number eleven on the Billboard 200, with sales of 32,000 copies.

Tracks

Sweet and Wild — Standard edition
TitleWriter(s) Length
1. No Good in Goodbye  Jewel 3:24
2. I Love You Forever  Jewel, Rick Nowels 4:25
3. Fading  Jewel 3:35
4. What You Are  Dave Berg, Jewel 3:40
5. Bad As It Gets  Mike Mobley, Rachel Proctor 3:54
6. Summer Home in Your Arms  Jewel 2:55
7. Stay Here Forever  Jewel, Dallas Davidson, Bobby Pinson 3:00
8. No More Heartaches  Jewel 2:49
9. One True Thing  Brett James, Jewel 4:14
10. Ten  Dave Berg, Jewel 3:25
11. Satisfied  Jewel, Liz Rose 4:09


Jewel wrote the following in a blog post before the album's release:

Hello all!

I just got back from Vegas, where Ty was in town for the PBR World Cup and I attended the ACMs.

I have a little music news to report - I finally have an album sequence for Sweet And Wild!

As you all know I had been struggling with the sequence for this one - partly due to the diverse range of material. I titled the album Sweet And Wild because it showcases both sides of my personality. I seem to be a walking contradiction in life. I am a fairly calm person who reads a lot and writes poetry, but I also like to ride motorcycles and shoot guns. I don't like hunting, but I love bull riding and rodeo as sports. I live firmly and happily between very liberal and very conservative cultures, with drag queens and preachers for friends. I love life, and I love all kinds of people.

For those of you familiar with a wide body of my work, you are well aware of my multifaceted sides through my music. Songs like "Nicotine Love," and "My Own Private God's Gift to Woman," show my darker turns and love of dark humor. But I also believe in themes wholeheartedly that are embodied in songs such as "I'm Sensitive" and "Hands."

For those of you that are familiar with me as a person you know I'm kind of like my music. I write and read poetry, but I also enjoy a fine cigar now and then and like riding motorcycles. I like going to the opera, and enjoy getting dirty and digging in during spring branding. This album sort of sums up both sides.

I love rock songs that are up tempo, and I love introspective songs that are lyrical. Usually I make albums that are one or the other - Spirit is very soothing, This Way is up tempo and rocking.... Well, on this one, I decided not to choose, but just go ahead and be both. The trick to making diverse material fit on one album, is getting the sequence right.

The other thing you guys know about me is my writing style is diverse beyond topic, but in genre as well. I have had such strong folk, country, rock and pop influences, that my writing really reflects this. I don't try to force my songs to be anything. I try to allow them to be what they are. Some come out rock, and some come out country. Like a good parent, I try not to control what they naturally are, but be a good steward, by making them the best they can be. The consistent theme is the focus on lyric and melody, and my perspective and viewpoint that I write from - as that never changes. This album has some very country songs, it has some straight up rock songs, it has songs that lean pop, and some that go back to my folksy roots. But it was all produced through the lens of the country format, so each is colored and warmed up by great instruments like mandolin and fiddle and some of the best players in the world who were kind enough to join me on the album.

In general this feels like an up tempo album. I decided to come out of the gates swinging with a 1, 2, 3 punch.

1) "No Good In Goodbye" opens - which is a rocking little country song, with a Dylan style internal rhyme scheme.

2) Next is "I Love You Forever"- a pop leaning toe-tapper that has a great story lyric about being close to those we love, even when away

3) Third is my favorite - "Fading" - a song I wrote a long time ago about leaving the ranch and feeling overwhelmed in the cities, traveling all the time and on the road. I'm so glad this has finally made the album. It's definitely in the "wild" category.

4) "What You Are" is mid tempo, and has a "sweet" lyric. I posted a vlog of this song after I had just written it. It has a message that reminds me of "Hands," and it is a topic I really am passionate about. We can relax, because we are already good enough...

5) "As Bad As It Gets"- this is a ballad that rocks. It's the only outside song on the album. It was written by a friend of mine and I chose it because it was vocally challenging. I meant to get around to writing one that pushed me as a singer, as I have always sung better live, and have tended to write wordier songs, rather than ones the showed my singing off. It was a goal of mine to really sing better on this record than on any I had done. This song is well written, and is a great showcase for some singing, and I want to thank the writers.

6) "Summer Home In Your Arms" - this is an older song and falls in my Pieces Of You category. It's my little brand of folksy, country hard-to-define genre. It has whimsical lyrics, and has a shuffle similar to "You Were Meant For Me." For those hardcores who know this song from bootlegs - it is different. I changed it from waltz time to 4/4, I created a chorus hook by changing chords, and I wrote a sweet bridge (I borrowed some lyric theme from the song I wrote with Joe Firstman, for those keeping track of how I cannibalize my own material) I added steel drum to this song, as it has a breezy quality that works perfectly with an island drum.

7) "Stay Here Forever" - my current single, and thanks to you guys the video is a big hit on CMT and GAC. As you know, you calling stations and voting online helps me get my quirky brand of music through - so thanks!

8) "No More Heartaches" - I wrote this a while ago, and am glad it's finally getting a spot. It's sure enough a country song, but has an aggressively articulate blunt yet poetic take on the classic "I'm leaving your no good ass" theme. The first line is "shut up, sweetheart, there's something I need you to hear: I can no longer love the same thing I fear."

9) "One True Thing" - This is a rocker. Theme is finding someone you can believe in and hanging on. We did a cool treatment in the first chorus, where instead of building into an even bigger chorus, we do the opposite and drop everything out except acoustic guitar and my voice. It creates a dramatic and unexpected effect.

10) Track ten is called "Ten." I'm probably the only nerd that gets a chuckle from this, but what the heck. This is one of my favorite story lyrics. I wrote it after Ty and I got in a big fight one day. I was so mad; I had to count to ten before I totally lost it. Love is a peculiar thing - it can inspire the best and the worst feeling because we let someone in so close to us. But the reward is so great too, that always keeping that perspective is key, no matter how intense a fleeting fight can be. I wrote this song as a sort of "count to ten" experience that can help ease you out of bad feelings, and even remind you to be thankful for their best qualities too. I like the opening line "whoever said love is easy, must have never been in love" - I think everyone can relate!

11) "Satisfied" - hands down my favorite message on the album. This is up there with "Hands" and "Life Uncommon" for me. I really believe we don't always know what it takes to be happy and satisfied. Sometimes it's simpler than we know: finding those you love and letting them know you do. To me that is the definition of the word. My favorite spot is the bridge "horses are built to run, the sun was meant to shine above, flowers were made to bloom, and then there's us - we were born to love."

The theme of this album is finding what's true about you and your life, and defending it and valuing it above all else.

THE RECORDING PROCESS

I made this album in a new way. I built it around my live performance demos I did at home by myself. I have always done better live than in a studio, so this time my co-producer Nathan Chapman and I decided to build the tracks around what I had done at home.

I picked the tempo, arranged the song and recorded my guitar and vocal at the ranch. Then I flew with the tracks to Nashville, and we cut bass, drums and electric to the original guitar/vocal. This helped retain the spirit of the solo acoustic performance. Then I flew home and recorded all the background vocals.

We then built the rest of the album virtually online. I'd send him the vocals, he'd layer more electrics on the tracks. I sent a song via mp3 to Jason Freese in LA to lay some keyboard parts down, then he would email his tracks back. Then we would email a song to my string player Jonathon Yudkin, who would record at his home studio and email his parts back to us. We filled out the whole album this way and it was very productive. As longs as you have a clear vision of what you want, it's totally possible to make a great record without having everyone in the same room. The key is building it around the right core - and for me that was the guitar vocal of my live performance. This also allowed us to make an affordable record, and keep our costs down. Something essential in today's industry environment.

SWEET AND MILD

A lot of talk is made about "pop" versus "country." I don't get what the fuss is about. I am the same person, writing the same songs. The difference is I desire my songs to get played on a different radio format - and one I dearly love. The only other difference is how I color my songs. My fundamental songwriting has not changed one bit. But how I produce the music does change. Now I can add weeping steel to emphasize a poignant lyric, whereas before it was off limits. Or I can use a rolling picked banjo to bring an uplifting forward movement to a chorus, instead of layering another electric guitar to get some lift for a chorus. To drive this point home - I decided to release a double album called "Sweet And Mild." It's the exact same record and the exact same sequence, but it's all solo acoustic. Zero production. It's just me and my guitar. These are the tracks I cut at my home studio by myself, and these are the tracks I took to Nashville that Nathan and I created the album around.

Here they exist in their most pure state, as they were written. They are blank canvases that can still go any which way. Naked songs, waiting to be dressed and told what they are. Sometimes we really changed the song when we dressed them up, like "No Good In Goodbye," really took on a new fun personality. Others stayed very similar to what was already there, like "Satisfied," but the production with strings just heightened the emotion, and the Soul Cages approach on drums added an arena rock ballad drama that made me itch to play it with a band in a big venue.

I have enjoyed sharing this album from the beginning with you. Some of these songs date way back, and the newer ones I got to share with you as I wrote them. I have been able to include you in the album making process via Twitter and vlogs.

As a craftsmen, I feel this is one of my strongest written albums, and hopefully you will agree I am singing closer to what I do in my live shows. I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed making it.

I will post the lyrics to each song in album sequence order over the next 11 days so you can get familiar with the lyrics while waiting for the album to be released on June 8th.

Don't forget my tour starts June 1 - I hope to see you on the road with me and songwriting great Radney Foster. He's an unbelievable talent, and I'm honored he's coming on the road with me. You will love him.

xxj