Single Review: Jewel “Stand”

Stand
Album: 0304
Year: 2003

On “Stand,” Jewel observes this big, evil world and sees all the souls that need saving. Again. But this time with a happy-go-lucky dance beat.

“Stand” is like a CNN news ticker set to music. In an earnest voice she sings, “See a shoplifting cop/see an old lady with a gun/see the hero try to run.” Self-righteous and moralizing, almost everyone else in the song is corrupt. Mothers and children are honorable, however. But they mostly suffer, though. She notes in the first verse that there are “children paying the bills” and in the chorus, “mothers weep.”

On this single, where she is clearly reinforcing her folksy poet image, the music is uneven. It opens with an odd, hip-hop beat. It doesn’t fit, considering this is the first time hip-hop has even occurred in her music. Then in the chorus, she cheerfully sings about “violence in the silence.” The upbeat arrangement is not right for the lyrics. Jewel knows nothing about how to make light, breezy pop and it shows on “Stand.”

Jewel doesn’t seem to know if she wants to remain the folk singer songwriter or be the sexy pop vixen. She’s trying to have it both ways here and it works against her. Simply put, “Stand” is a single to thwart backlash and win back her old fans displeased with her new image.

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Standard

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