Spirit (Jewel album)

Spirit is the second studio album by American singer-songwriter Jewel, released in 1998 by Atlantic Records. Singles include "Hands", "Down So Long", and a newly recorded version of "Jupiter", followed by a remix of "What's Simple Is True" to promote Jewel's debut film Ride with the Devil. In addition, a one-track CD containing a live version of "Life Uncommon" was released to music stores in hopes to raise money and awareness for Habitat for Humanity.

Jewel - Spirit.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedNovember 17, 1998 (1998-11-17)
GenreFolk rock
Jewel chronology
Pieces of You
Joy: A Holiday Collection
Singles from Spirit
  1. "Hands"
    Released: October 16, 1998
  2. "Down So Long"
    Released: February 28, 1999
  3. "Jupiter"
    Released: August 17, 1999
  4. "What's Simple Is True"
    Released: October 12, 1999
  5. "Life Uncommon"
    Released: April 13, 2000
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic3/5 stars [1]
Entertainment Weekly(B-) [2]
Rolling Stone3/5 stars [3]

Spirit debuted at number 3 on the Billboard 200 with 368,000 copies sold in its first week. It eventually sold 3.7 million units in the U.S.[4]


Kilcher began writing material for Spirit after the release of Pieces of You in 1995.[5] In 1996, she recorded six songs with producer Peter Collins, but scrapped the tracks after singles from her debut album, Pieces of You, began to receive significant radio play.[5]

In a 1998 interview, she divulged that the song "Fat Boy" was written about a boy she grew up with who committed suicide on her family's property in Alaska: "There was a note [he left] that said some thing along the lines of, 'Nobody will love me,.' And to know that you're not sexually attractive in our society at age thirteen or to feel that you won't ever be loved at age eighteen is just devastating."[5] She also stated that the song "Hands" was written based on the notion of: "if I watch what my hands do, I'd have a better idea of what I was thinking, consciously or subconsciously."[5]


Spirit was recorded at Groove Masters in Santa Monica, California, and Oceanway Studios in Hollywood.[1] Jewel recorded the album with producer Patrick Leonard (who frequently had worked with Madonna), who added percussive undercurrents and keyboards to the guitar-based tracks.[5]


David Browne of Entertainment Weekly wrote of the album: "With her dulcet voice and lulling refrains, Jewel makes the social and political ills of the world go down easy. But in doing so, she unintentionally confounds the problem, since her honeyed background-music folk makes issues of life and death appear more benign and less worrisome than they are. Jewel truly has brought topical folk songs into the modern age: She makes complacent rabble-rousers."[2] Rolling Stone's Rob Sheffield awarded the album three out of five stars.[3]

Jon Pareles of The New York Times compared Jewel's vocal mannerisms on the album to those of Joni Mitchell, Stevie Nicks, Michael Stipe, and Rickie Lee Jones, adding that "half the songs...reach an otherworldly tenderness, redeeming the lyrics through the grace of the music."[6] Wendy Bareles of CNN praised Jewel's vocals on the album, though added: "In the funky, accusatory "Who Will Save Your Soul" on the first album, Jewel dropped to a growl to ask, "Who will save your soul after the lies that you told, boy." Songs in the new collection such as "Hands" and "Kiss The Flame" are, by contrast, pleasant folky confections that don't distinguish themselves musically or lyrically."[7]

Track listingEdit

All tracks are written by Jewel Kilcher, unless otherwise noted.

1."Deep Water" 4:16
2."What's Simple Is True" 3:34
4."Kiss the Flame" 3:17
5."Down So Long" 4:13
6."Innocence Maintained" 4:08
7."Jupiter" 4:18
8."Fat Boy" 2:54
9."Enter from the East" 4:02
10."Barcelona" 3:53
11."Life Uncommon" 4:56
12."Do You" 4:21
13."Absence of Fear" (hidden track: "This Little Bird")hidden track by John D. Loudermilk7:25
Non-U.S. bonus track
14."Who Will Save Your Soul" (Live)3:29
Australian bonus disc CD: Live in Madrid 1999
1."Down So Long"5:24
2."What's Simple Is True"3:54
3."Foolish Games"4:34
4."Do You"4:17
5."Who Will Save Your Soul"5:05


Sales and certificationsEdit

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[21] 3× Platinum 210,000^
Netherlands (NVPI)[22] Gold 50,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[23] Platinum 15,000^
Japan (RIAJ)[24] Gold 100,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[25] Silver 60,000^
United States (RIAA)[26] 4× Platinum 4,000,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.



Technical personnel

  • Peter Collins – production
  • Patrick Leonard – production
  • Ross Hogarth – engineering
  • Christopher Shaw – engineering
  • Robi Banerji – assistant engineering
  • David Channing – assistant engineering
  • Sebastian Haimerl – assistant engineering
  • Bob Salcedo – assistant engineering
  • John Sorenson – assistant engineering
  • Katy Teasdale – assistant engineering
  • Ross Hogarth – mixing
  • Kevin Killen – mixing
  • Bob Ludwig – mastering
  • Patrick Leonard – programming
  • Jeremy Lubbock – string arrangements
  • Edd Kolakowski – piano technician

Art personnel

  • Brenda Rotheiser – art direction
  • Brenda Rotheiser – design
  • Jeanne Greco – artwork
  • Matthew Rolston – photography
  • Danny Flynn – stylist
  • Chris McMillan – hair stylist
  • Troy Jensen – makeup


  1. ^ a b Spirit at AllMusic. Retrieved December 17, 2017.
  2. ^ a b Browne, David (November 20, 1998). "Spirit Review | Music Reviews and News". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 17, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ a b Sheffield, Rob (November 24, 1998). "Jewel : Spirit : Music Reviews". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on February 12, 2007. Retrieved December 17, 2017.
  4. ^ "Ask Billboard: Jewel, Ciara, Ricky Martin". Billboard. Retrieved July 26, 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ a b c d e Strauss, Neil (December 24, 1998). "A Search for Truth About Jewel". Rolling Stone. Retrieved December 17, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ Pareles, Jon (November 24, 1998). "POP REVIEW; Whatever Love May Be, At Heart It's Ever Powerful". The New York Times. Retrieved December 17, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ Brandes, Wendy (November 24, 1998). "New Jewel album lacking in Spirit". Retrieved December 17, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ "Spirit - Australian chart run". Australian-charts.com. Retrieved September 29, 2008.
  9. ^ "Spirit - Austria chart run". Austriancharts.at. Retrieved September 30, 2008.
  10. ^ "アルバム売上ランキング" (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved July 16, 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. ^ "Spirit - New Zealand chart run". charts.org.nz. Retrieved September 29, 2008.
  12. ^ "Spirit - Dutch chart run". Dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved September 30, 2008.
  13. ^ "Spirit - France chart run". lescharts.com. Retrieved September 30, 2008.
  14. ^ "Spirit - Sweden chart run". Swedishcharts.com. Retrieved September 30, 2008.
  15. ^ "Spirit (Jewel)". German Charts (in German). Retrieved April 27, 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  16. ^ "Spirit - Switzerland chart run". hitparade.ch. Retrieved September 30, 2008.
  17. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved November 25, 2013.
  18. ^ "Jewel - UK chart history 1994-2006". zobbel.de. Retrieved September 29, 2008.
  19. ^ "Jewel - Artist Chart History". Allmusic. Retrieved September 29, 2007.
  20. ^ "1999 Year-end Charts" (PDF). Billboard. Retrieved April 6, 2021.
  21. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2000 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. Archived from the original on 2020-09-13.
  22. ^ "Dutch album certifications – Jewel – Sporit" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Retrieved October 22, 2020. Enter Sporit in the "Artiest of titel" box.
  23. ^ "New Zealand album certifications – Jewel – Spirit". Recorded Music NZ.
  24. ^ "Japanese album certifications – Jewel – Spirit" (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. Retrieved December 26, 2020. Select 1999年1月 on the drop-down menu
  25. ^ "British album certifications – Jewel – Spirit". British Phonographic Industry.Select albums in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Spirit in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  26. ^ "American album certifications – Jewel – Spirit". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 

External linksEdit