Jewel – “Stay Here Forever”

Juli Thanki | January 19th, 2010

jewel-stay-here-foreverIt’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.

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  1. Leeann Ward
    January 19, 2010 at 6:16 am

    Good review. My take on this song (written, but not yet published) is more harsh than this though.

  2. Steve M.
    January 19, 2010 at 10:30 am

    So when does Meredith Brooks or Alanis Morrissette start releasing country singles?

  3. Blake Boldt
    January 19, 2010 at 11:03 am

    Jewel’s introduction was this brilliant couplet from 1995’s “Who Will Save Your Soul”: “People livin’ their lives for you on TV/They say they’re better than you, and you agree.” It was a heck of a starting point.

    Though she’s had some good moments, it’s a shame she’s never had a song—or even an idea—that’s rung more true or seemed as important.

  4. Dan Milliken
    January 19, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    Bangin’ review. I think I can pardon this as long as it doesn’t become a hit like Martina’s unbearable “I Love You” from Runaway Bride did.

  5. Leeann Ward
    January 19, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    I actually think “I Love You” is more naturally catchy. This song seems like it’s really trying, but doesn’t quite get there.

  6. Dan Milliken
    January 19, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    It was catchy, but in kind of a nauseating way.

  7. Nicolas
    January 19, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    I love Jewel’s voice and I think this is a pretty good song myself =)

    I think the problem here is that its a song from a romantic comedy (as the review highlighted), so it serves its purpose just fine.

  8. Rick
    January 19, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    The only song I’ve heard that Jewel is involved in that claims to be country that I like is her duet with Jason Michael Carroll on “There’s No Good In Goodbye” from Jason’s debut album. Why that song was never released as a radio single still has me scratching my head….

    Here’s a live version of that duet from YouTube:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K5ZVjvtZIjI

    Jewel has a nice voice when she doesn’t stylize things too much, which unfortunately is rare to never. If she’d just restrain her natural impulses and sing something straight for a change it would be much appreciated.

  9. Leeann Ward
    January 19, 2010 at 5:17 pm

    That’s a great wayt to describe the Jewel song too, Dan!

  10. Steve Harvey
    January 19, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    I object to all songs called ‘I Love You’ on principal. I mean, for god’s sake, wasn’t there a single other lyric from the song you could’ve chosen as a title?

  11. stormy
    January 19, 2010 at 6:46 pm

    Can the aliens who stole Jewel and Jack Ingram’s brains please return them?

  12. TobySooner
    January 20, 2010 at 10:13 am

    I agree with Rick…”No Good In Goodbye” should have been released as a single.

  13. Linda
    January 23, 2010 at 12:54 am

    Whatcha talking about? The song has a really catchy melody.

  14. Paul
    January 27, 2010 at 11:53 pm

    Does this website ever give positive reviews? This fun song is great!

  15. Jon G.
    January 28, 2010 at 12:05 am

    @Paul

    Yes, they give several actually, and about as many good as bad.

    Recently, however, the material has not been as good as it might have been other times…

  16. stormy
    January 28, 2010 at 12:08 am

    You have to remember that we are old enough to remember when Jewel was good.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FrkGAkIVY6k

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