Jewel – “Stay Here Forever”
It’s been over a year since Jewel’s released a country single (the unsuccessful “Till It Feels Like Cheating,” which only stayed on the charts for a week), but now she’s returned with a cut on the soundtrack to Valentine’s Day, an upcoming romantic comedy with perhaps the largest ensemble cast since Robert Altman’s Nashville; it includes everyone from Shirley MacLaine to Ashton Kutcher to Taylors Swift and Lautner. “Stay Here Forever” sounds…well, exactly how you’d expect a song from a romantic comedy featuring Ashton Kutcher to sound: an inoffensive distraction while it’s on, but quickly forgotten.
The character and expressiveness Jewel’s voice had on her 1996 breakout folk-pop hits “Who Will Save Your Soul” and “You Were Meant For Me,” and, to a lesser extent, her singles from 2008′s Perfectly Clear have vanished almost completely, leaving a bland simper in its wake. Classic Jewel briefly appears in the chorus (which, by the way, is the strongest part of the song, though it becomes an insidious earworm after you listen to the song 20 times), but as a whole, her vocal performance is largely unmemorable, especially when paired with an equally unmemorable melody.
Although the lyrics are nothing particularly special, it’s easy to imagine them working well within the context of an airy rom-com. Perhaps there will be a montage or music video of the Sensitive Male and his Shiny-Haired Lady being cute and in love while Jewel chirps “If you wanna walk, baby, let’s walk/Have a little kiss, have a little talk/We don’t got to leave at all/We can lay here forever/Stay here forever” in the background.
An artist as talented as Jewel can do–and has done–much better, which makes “Stay Here Forever” seem even worse in comparison to, say, “I Do,” or “Who Will Save Your Soul.” The movie and its soundtrack are almost guaranteed to rake in the big bucks; let’s hope both are better than this song.
Listen: Jewel – “Stay Here Forever”
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