Jewel will rock out on her new album. Producer Linda Perry plans to give the singer/songwriter a shot of raw energy

By Brian Hiatt
December 01, 2002 at 05:00 AM EST
Jewel: Lester Cohen/WireImage.com

When producer-of-the-moment Linda Perry worked with Jewel earlier this year, she had no intention of saving the spiritual Alaskan’s soul. Instead, Perry says, ”I kicked her in the butt.” Thanks to that gentle guidance, Jewel gave one of her most intense vocal performances ever on an unlikely version of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s ”Sweet Home Alabama,” which played over the closing credits of the eponymous Reese Witherspoon comedy.

Now Perry plans to take the same rock-edged approach as a producer and cowriter on Jewel’s next album, with recording sessions set to begin in December. ”I’m really excited about it,” Perry explains, ”because there was a time when I sat and said, ‘Can somebody f—ing kick these girls in the ass and get them to start singing and growling and bringing that edge to their voice?’ And somebody heard me.” Perry, former leader of one-hit-wonders 4 Non Blondes, has revived her career as a producer and songwriter for the likes of Pink (”Like A Pill”) and Christina Aguilera (”Beautiful”).

Though Jewel had sole writing credit on all but three of the songs on 1995’s solo acoustic ”Pieces of You” and 1998’s pop effort ”Spirit,” last year’s eclectic ”This Way” — a commercial disappointment — found her relying more heavily on cowriters.

A spokesperson for Jewel’s label, Atlantic, didn’t have any information on which other collaborators might appear on Jewel’s newest album, or when it might be released. But in any case, Jewel is apparently ready to try something new, says Perry: ”She knows not everything has to sound pretty.”

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