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Goodbye Alice in Wonderland

Goodbye Alice in Wonderland

4.3 16
by Jewel
After more than a decade as pop's acoustic-guitar ingénue, Jewel unveils a real "coming of age" saga: the emotionally raw, and surprisingly searching Goodbye Alice in Wonderland. While there are upbeat interludes -- the breezy "Again and Again" is awash in her trademark romanticism -- the album boasts a notable number of glimpses through a jagged and cracked


After more than a decade as pop's acoustic-guitar ingénue, Jewel unveils a real "coming of age" saga: the emotionally raw, and surprisingly searching Goodbye Alice in Wonderland. While there are upbeat interludes -- the breezy "Again and Again" is awash in her trademark romanticism -- the album boasts a notable number of glimpses through a jagged and cracked looking glass. On the bittersweet "Long Slow Slide," for starters, she spins a poignant tale, rife with circus imagery, about the price of stardom. The acoustic guitars that accompany her on that tune are ubiquitous here. Sometimes -- as on "Stephenville, TX," a brow-furrowing denunciation of celebrity culture -- they chafe with the rough edges of old-school protest folk. But more often, Jewel conjures sonic solace, as on "Fragile Heart," a gentle pulse of a song recalling her earliest hits, and the wounded "Satellite," which takes a detour through the seedy back alleys that run behind Hollywood's glitzy boulevards. While the subject matter is often dark, Jewel manages to home in on her characters' humanity and the glimmers of hope that illuminate their perilous situations, rather than send them down the rabbit hole. And that spark of real storytelling gives Wonderland the sort of sunset radiance that's easy to sit back and bask in.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
The last time listeners encountered Jewel, the famously sensitive singer/songwriter had just performed an extreme makeover on herself, refashioning herself as a dance-pop diva on 2003's 0304. Artistically, it worked against all odds, and it did pretty well on the charts too, debuting at number two on the Billboard Hot 100, but her fans didn't necessarily warm to it, and three years later, Jewel is running away from the album she proclaimed as her "first record I enjoy listening to" ("It's fun!"), and back to safe territory with 2006's Goodbye Alice in Wonderland. Like 0304, this album comes with an explanation/apology from its auteur: "Goodbye Alice in Wonderland is the story of my life and is the most autobiographical album I have made since Pieces of You...By the end of the 13th song, if you have listened closely, you will have heard the story of the sirens song that seduced me, of a path I both followed and led, of bizarre twists and turns that opened my eyes, forcing me to find solutions so that discovering the truth would not lead to a loss of hope." And, yes, the album is indeed a song cycle, tracing her crisis of the soul in the wake of her dance-pop move, which might make Goodbye Alice in Wonderland sound pompous and self-absorbed, which it kind of is on one level; after all, albums that find an artist examining the fallout of a commercial success that they were a willing participant in are kind of narcissistic. But even if Goodbye is a bit of an unwitting star-trip -- Jewel may be trying to run from stardom, but the issues she explores here are too autobiographical, too much like diary entries to resonate deeply on a larger scale -- it doesn't mean the album doesn't work. In fact, as a piece of music and as a coherent set of songs, it's Jewel's strongest yet. Assisted by producer Rob Cavallo -- who has produced records for Michelle Branch and the Goo Goo Dolls, along with every Green Day album since 1995's Nimrod -- Jewel has created her most sonically appealing record, one that has plenty of different shades and textures. This keeps her ceaseless introspection from sounding like excessive navel-gazing, but it also helps draw out the variety within the songs themselves, which range from the meandering ballad of the title track to the ruminative, moody "Last Dance Rodeo" to the blatantly Dylanesque phrasing of "Stephenville, TX" to a trio of her best pop songs in "Again and Again," "Only One Too," and "Words Get in the Way." True, Jewel still has a tendency to spin out lyrics that are embarrassingly precious, but as a writer she's never been stronger, particularly in terms of the construction of the songs; these are tight, sturdy, melodic songs that are among her most memorable. And not only are the individual moments strong, but they add up to a cohesive, satisfying whole. In that sense, it's not altogether dissimilar to 0304, which she may be apologizing for now, but prior to this album, it was the only one of her records that held together from beginning to end. Goodbye Alice in Wonderland may have an entirely different feel and intent than its glitzy predecessor, but like 0304, it is proof that even if Jewel doesn't have as high a profile, or perhaps as large an audience, as she did in 1996, she's a better songwriter and record-maker than she was at the outset of her career.

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Jewel   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Vocals
Paul Bushnell   Bass,Bass Guitar
Luis Conte   Percussion
Jamie Muhoberac   Piano,Keyboards
John Pierce   Bass Guitar
Tim Pierce   Guitar
Rob Cavallo   Guitar
Johnny Pierce   Guitar
Greg Suran   Guitar
Dorian Crozier   Drums

Technical Credits

Jewel   Producer,Audio Production
David Campbell   Horn Arrangements,String Arrangements
Daniel Chase   Engineer
Jimmy Hoyson   Engineer
Doug McKean   Engineer
Lester Mendez   Composer
Allen Sides   Engineer
Brian Vibberts   Engineer
Greg Wells   Composer
Rob Cavallo   Producer,Audio Production
Kara DioGuardi   Composer
Anthony Bell   Composer
Jeri Heiden   Art Direction
John Shanks   Composer
Dorian Crozier   Programming
Greg Burns   Engineer
Keith Armstrong   Engineer
Chris Steffen   Engineer
Sara Cumings   Art Direction
Dmitar Krnjaic   Engineer
Brian Cometa   Engineer

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Goodbye Alice in Wonderland 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This has got to be my favorite Jewel CD ever! 'Goodbye Alice in Wonderlend' and 'Good Day' are awesome.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This album is a must-have for all Jewel fans. Despite me liking her last album "O304" I think this is really Jewel instead of an manufactured image. The music is great. I really like "Again and Again", "Goodbye Alice In Wonderland, Good Day and Stephenville, TX. The album is good so buy it!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
A disappointing follow up for this fan. 0304 was a total mess and this new album doesn't do much more. Releasing OLD songs and trying to act like they're new and part of a journey of "self reflection" is dishonest, self-absorbed and foolish. Jewel wrote many of these songs during her POY years, before she got sucked into Hollywood. Reworking the rhythms and in some cases ruining the songs-- too slow in 1000 Miles Away, too fast in Last Dance Rodeo, is just plain disappointing. While the best tracks ARE her previously written songs, it leaves me wondering if the Jewel of old will ever return. I think this cd is a lot less about her Hollywood journey and much more about her on again off again relationship with her rodeo star boyfriend. She was on the right track with This Way and hasn't returned since. Jewel isn't found, she's still lost in some tracks seemingly trying to sound like Kelly Clarkson. Coming from someone who has purchased every cd she's ever made, I have to say that I'm officially done.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Brilliant album. Have heard every track and it it wonderful. Jewel at her best and so unbelievably honest! Fully recommend it! Go Buy it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have only heard "Goodbye Alice in Wonderland" and "Again and Again" and know already that this cd will be awesome! She's getting back to her POY cd (so all you whiners can now shh.), but it continues to use up beat music and awesome lyrics. Granted, they're not as powerful as maybe her "Daddy" song, etc., but they're still amazing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i LOVE jewel with all my heart. she is such an amazing singer with sooo much talent. Great work girl! i reccommend this CD for all females. I think it has more of a feminine touch to it. Keep it up Jewel Kilcher!
Guest More than 1 year ago
when this album first came out a lot of critics were calling it jewel's best work since "pieces of you," which i really didn't understand, firstly because i don't believe "pieces of you" is jewel's best work and secondly because i didn't know if this album did live up to it. now that a year has gone by, i realize this really is one of her best works. the songs are so well-crafted and produced, and her vocals are as sweet and passionate as they have always been. "again and again" should have gotten more radio play (as most jewel songs post-pieces of you), because it really is a catchy pop melody. but my favorites on the album are the title track, with probably some of the best lyrics jewel has written, and the second single "good day." while most people only embraced this album because they were terrified that she'd make another 0304, i (who am actually a fan of 0304) embrace it as another part of her great catalogue. can't wait to see what she does next, and which label it'll be on!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Enough already. Since when does self reference equate excellent writing? Simple rhymes (Again & Again et al.) and re-tread sentiment. I think Jewel has a GREAT voice and should a great singer, but between the kitten coyishness, the gutteral growls, and the "I really feel" wailing, I am not getting the point. I would love to hear her sing other writers' music instead of her own faux folk. While not as much of an artistic disaster as her last record, I would much rather listen to any number of independent singer-songwriters out there.
Guest More than 1 year ago
To me this CD is kind of a mixture of Spirit and This Way. It's laid back, pleasant to listen to, and doesn't go to extremes. There aren't really any standout songs, but I like the redone Fragile Heart as well as Stephenville, TX. It's one of those CDs to pop in when you just want to sit back and relax.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have the pure acoustic versions of all these songs and I have to say I prefer them. This CD's versions though are more commercial and I can see why she went this way. I think it showcases some of her better tunes and I'm hoping it does well.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've finally boughten the cd, and I have to say I was not disappointed. She's back to her POY roots, or at least closer to POY than 0304 (which I'm not saying is bad, I still like that cd). So for all of you whiners, she's back to Jewel. Enjoy! Oh, and sorry for all the comments of mine right in the row. Sometimes I'm impatient and foreget that it'll take around 3 days and so I'll write another, just incase they disposed of my other one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you are a fan of Jewel, you will love this album.
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