After Thwarted Kidnapping Plans, Whitmer Calls for Unity

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addressed the State of Michigan after a plan to kidnap her and other Michigan government officials was thwarted by state and federal law enforcement agencies. She started by saying thank you to law enforcement and FBI agents who participated in stopping this [...]


Make Michigan Progressive Again.

Get the 2020 Michigan Progressive Voters Guide and find out which candidates on your personal ballot are dedicated to supporting progressive politics and equality and justice for all Americans.

Get My Voter Guide

Lost in ‘Wonderland’

By |2006-06-08T09:00:00-04:00June 8th, 2006|Entertainment|

Not only did singer-songwriter, and newly reformed pop princess, Jewel recently appear on “Extreme Makeover,” but she also has a commonality with the show.
No, not a newly renovated home, but a new start. That’s right, for her latest record, “Goodbye Alice In Wonderland,” Jewel strips her generic dance-beat synthesizers that filled its predecessor, “0304.”
But that doesn’t make the overproduced “Wonderland” as intriguing as Alice’s adventures. The Alaskan singer-songwriter, although more mature at 32, attempts to take fans back to her “Pieces of You” days on this self-indulgent record. But, just like she sings on her new album, “the words get in the way.”
Although a step up from “0304,” cliches and lifeless lyrics trace Jewel’s path from young singer-songwriter through her notorious “living in a van” story and then to her “glory” days, where she realizes that fame isn’t all that.
“Wonderland” just doesn’t stick. Venturing through more organic territory suits Jewel’s songwriting, but the beats flood into each other and the songs lose their already muted color, making a project that could’ve been interesting into a bland confessional that’ll have your fingers glued to the fast-forward button.
Luckily, every few songs give us a gem that shines among the often-dull tunes. On “Goodbye Alice In Wonderland” Jewel embraces her acoustic side and escapes the fairy tale life she once wanted, but didn’t get.
“So goodbye Alice in Wonderland/Goodbye yellow brick road/There is a difference between dreaming and pretending/That was not love in your eyes,” she sings on the autobiographical tune.
It’s a sparsely produced and – “Wizard of Oz” reference aside – gracefully penned ditty.
But for every diamond there are a few chunks of cement.
She embraces her rock edge on the disastrous “Good Day,” which wouldn’t have been so bad without Jewel’s ridiculous conversational intro. She rehashes a feebly written tune – 0304’s “Fragile Heart” – that doesn’t improve much from its former dance-heavy beat with its Britney Spears-esque lyrics (“If U want my heart/U have 2 promise not 2 tear it apart/’Cause my heart/Has been hurt a lot”).
Apparently, the “Wonderland” album began as a collection in the vain of the no-holds-barred “Pieces of You,” but, dissatisfied with the results, Jewel re-recorded with Rob Cavallo of Green day.
Well, like the saying, the third time is a charm. Too bad Jewel only recorded this album twice.

About the Author:

Chris Azzopardi
As editor of Q Syndicate, the international LGBTQ wire service, Chris Azzopardi has interviewed a multitude of superstars, including Cher, Meryl Streep, Mariah Carey and Beyoncé. His work has also appeared in GQ, Vanity Fair and Billboard. Reach him via Twitter @chrisazzopardi.