Jewel – Sweet And Wild – The Title Says It All

If I could hand out album of the year award, I would seriously consider Jewel’s “Sweet and Wild” as one of the nominees.  That is based on the 8,000 songs I have downloaded over one year (thank you Nokia).  If you have heard Jewel singing live – which I did when I was working in Malaysia – you would agree that she sounds even better in front of the audience than her recorded album.  Her 1995 album “Pieces Of Me” thrills me.  More so, the inspiring story of her touring all over America to promote her album.  While her initial debut did not take off, her re-release of the same album has made history.  I also like her subsequent releases up to “0304” when she has totally lost me with her pop approach.  Thereafter, although I am still following her music career, the albums do not quite hit my spot.  Then comes “Sweet and Wild”.

Jewel remains strong, lyrically.  Take the last track “Satisfied” as an example (check out the video at the end of this post).

If you love somebody, you better let it out.  Don’t hold it back while you’re trying to figure it out.  Don’t be timid, don’t be afraid to hurt.  Run toward the flame, run toward the fire.  Hold on for all your worth cause the only real pain a heart can ever know is the sorrow of regret when you don’t let your feelings show.

The beauty of this song – besides its melody – is that she goes on with how to love and ultimately feel satisfied.

“Sweet and Wild” contains some emotionally desperate songs, like the dramatic opening track “No Good In Goodbye” that demonstrates her brilliant vocal capability.  That track is almost as sad as some of the songs in her debut.  But the crying sound is no more, which is more pleasing to the heart (l did not notice how much she used the crying sound until lately when I listened to her debut again).  Majority of her album are tracks that are so sweet that I cannot stop smiling listening to them.  Tracks such as “I Love You Forever” and “Stay Here Forever”.  I would suppose these are the songs inspired by her recent marriage.  There is even a song on a couple having a row that surprisingly, it sounds absolutely sweet.  Check out the lyrics excerpt for the song “Ten” on her stopping and counting to ten before leaving after a fight.  I am sure most of you who are or have been in a relationship would be able to relate.

One, I still wanna hate you.  Two, three, I still wanna leave.  Four, searching for that door.  Five, then I look into your eyes.  Six, take a deep breathe.  Seven, take a step back.  Eight, nine, I don’t know why, we even started this fight.  By the time I get to ten, I’m right back in your arms again.

And to sweeten the song, like the 10 things I love and hate about you, here is the answer to the emotion above when she counts her blessing because one could lose what one is not thankful for.  Lyrically, I think it is beautiful.  So is the song.

One, you still move me.  Two, three, you send chills right through me.  Four, you keep me wanted more.  Five, when I look into your eye.  Six, you’re my best friend.  Seven, that will never end.  Eight, nine, I don’t know why, but thank God it happens every-time.  By the time I get to ten, I can see how bless I’ve been.

“Sweet And Wild” – like most of her previous albums – is leaning towards pop than country.  It is not a powerhouse country pop album like others who do well in the chart.  But it is quite likely one of the sweetest and most accessible Jewel albums I have come across for quite some time and I fall in love with all the tracks in this album.

Los Angeles Disneyland … Disneyland Paris Is Better, No?

Amazing that I have been writing diary for four months.  I shall keep it up.

Disneyland at Los Angeles. I was hoping that it will be better than the one in Paris but both me and Colin agrees that the former Eurodisney (now called Disneyland Paris) is far better.  The Sleeping Beauty Castle is so much smaller; even the trees seem to be bigger.  Anyway, this is the original Disneyland.  The biggest one is in Florida.

Okay, we started off in Adventureland.  The Jungle Cruise was just a laugh.  Everything (elephants and crocodiles and hippos) are so fake.  According to the guide, it was built somewhat forty odd years ago.  The next one was pretty good.  It was the Indiana Jones Adventure.  The ride was quite exciting.  I loved the last part where a giant ball was rolling towards us and we suddenly dropped.  By the way, we were riding in a jeep.

Splash Mountain was very much like the one in any theme park.  Riding on the water in a log.  The final drop and … splash … everyone got wet.

The Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is definitely not as good as the one in Disneyland Paris.  The one in Paris, we have two trains going head-on-head with each other.  This one is quite primitive.

As for the Matterhorn Bobsleds in Fantasyland, it is pretty good.  A lot of spinning.  Don’t remember riding it in Paris.

The next one worth mentioning is the Space Mountain.  Very fast speed roller coaster.  But Colin told me that the one in Paris is far better.  Well …

All in all, we were kind of disappointed but it is an experience.  We didn’t take a lot of photos (indeed less than 5) and we left around three.

I just couldn’t help but thinking about JP from time to time.  The time we had when we were in Eurodisney.  I told Colin that I was hoping to forget about her in this US trip but he admitted that it is kind of hard for I will keep thinking back about the good time we had.  True enough.  True enough.

We got out of Disneyland and headed off to Beverly Hills.  Quit a long ride and we stopped by a tiny Chinese Restaurant and had a meal (at 5!).  The American Born Chinese (ABC) look so different.  Heavy makeup, dyed blond hair and perfect American English.  We parked somewhere in the middle of the Beverly Hills and all the shops are so high class.  Even the women on the street, they all look so gorgeous.  Must be a lot of plastic surgery.

Really tempted to buy the single “You were meant for me” by Jewel and send it to JP.  But as Francis said before, for every action, there must be a purpose.  If I don’t intend to get back to her again, what is the purpose of sending her the single?  The original reason of doing so is to let her know why I feel right now, but on the other hands, what do I get out from this?  Does she really care at all?  Wanted to ask Annie (when I return to Paris) if JP has already got herself a new boyfriend but then again, what’s the use of knowing or not knowing this piece of information?

Destination Los Angeles

Today we needed to hit Los Angeles therefore we both woke up pretty early.  I set the alarm clock at 6:45 am and I woke up naturally.  More correctly, I woke up by a nightmare.  In my dream, I was in bed with JP. And before we got into real business, she admitted that she had slept with more than a hundred guys while I was away.  I was furious and shouting up to the sky (something like the show ‘Romeo and Juliet’) and I could feel my whole body felt with rage.  And I woke up with cold swears falling from my forehead.

Must be the songs from ‘Jewel’.

Guess what. I woke up at 7:20 am instead.  Feeling very tired and we stepped out of the room at around eight.  Had a simple breakfast and hit the road.  I felt a lot better today and Colin and I got along well just like Day One.  Kind of strange that my mood changes so suddenly.

At first Colin decided that he would drive all the way to Barstow and I would take the cue and finished off the trip.  In the end, he got tired after one hour of driving on a very straight road and I took over.  We swapped from time to time and it was fun.

The factory outlet in Barstow was huge.  We both spent a lot of money there.  In the end, we were frightened and tried not to step into any shop.

The inn was very decent indeed and we relaxed quite a fair bit.  Colin was into … erm … movies while I just took a nap.  He was craving for Chinese food so we have decided to go for Chinese.  It took us a long time to get there and the food was no good.  But he still thinks that it is better than cheese and bread (Western food).

During the whole day, I was thinking about JP again.  Thinking about the possibility that we will get back together.  But will I ever even be able to bear the shadow of not being able to know what she has been doing behind me?  After all, we have officially broken up.  And do I really care if she is really flirting and sleeping around?  Guess I shouldn’t.  Thought that the purpose of such a trip is to forget about the past but the past is just too difficult to be forgiven.