Jewel – “Satisfied”

Jim Malec | May 12th, 2010

jewel-satisfiedHorses are made to run, the sun is made to shine and we? We are made to love. So says Jewel, the once angst-ridden folk-rock vixen whose 1995 debut Pieces of You was a raw and unfiltered portrait of a young mind and heart trying to make sense of a confusing and difficult world. That heavily conflicted girl has long been replaced by a self-assured and content woman, one more concerned with encouraging outward peace than exploring inner turmoil. Too bad for us.

“Satisfied” is a sweet little sliver of hope, professionally crafted and sung by one of music’s most identifiable (and gifted) voices. But it, like the bulk of her catalog, lacks so much as a splinter of the urgency found on Pieces of You. Back then, Jewel didn’t know how to write songs. She was a kid with a guitar, a few chords and a notebook. She was green, and thus she was fearless; there was no devil on her shoulder telling her “that’ll never work.” There was no body of experience subliminally pushing her to conform, to polish, to rein in her songwriting’s farthest-straying loose ends. Her songs were dirty. Not necessarily obscene or sexual, but dirty.

“Satisfied” is clean, soft and filtered through a prism of commercialism. And although she urges us “don’t be timid,” her writing betrays that request by nature. This is essentially timid. “Did you say it/Did you mean it…/Did you lay it on the line…/Did you make it count?”

Did you, Jewel?

In this sterile redux of “Hands,” the singer/songwriter shows off her well-refined songwriting chops, her wonderful singing ability and her knack for crafting memorable melodies. But she does so with about one degree of separation from Enya. If this is country, then Olivia Newton-John is an outlaw, and while songs like “Stronger Woman” brought a shot of much-needed narrative to country radio, “Satisfied” amounts to a pleasant but irrelevant shot at universal inspirationalism—one so far removed from anything musically related to “country” that it would sound tame and out of place even in the current format. That’s quite an achievement, all things considered–though probably not the one she was aiming for.

Thumbs Down

Listen: Jewel – “Satisfied”

1 Ping

  1. [...] Here is a link to a critic,who is a little less than complimentary about her song.http://www.the9513.com/jewel-satisfied/ [...]
  1. Trish
    May 12, 2010 at 8:38 am

    Jim,

    I have completely disagreed with you on some other reviews most notably of Carrie Underwood as I think she is spectacular BUT you completely nailed this review. I liked the early Jewel and the song Pieces of You but all of Jewel’s latest stuff has been disappointing. This has proven itself in her plummeting sales and lack of any radio airplay.

  2. Ben Foster
    May 12, 2010 at 10:17 am

    Read my review of this song at
    http://1to10countryreview.blogspot.com/2010/05/jewel-satisfied.html
    Like Jim, I criticized the song’s polished production, but overall it was a generally positive review, praising the songwriting and vocal delivery.

  3. Jim Malec
    May 12, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    Please do more than just link to another review.

  4. Nicolas
    May 12, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    This song sounds beautiful, but I don’t see this breaking through with country radio like “Stronger Woman” did

  5. Thomas
    May 12, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    …not country but a rather beautiful piece of music.

  6. Observer
    May 12, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    Jewel has some good numbers being played on CMT’s Studio 330 Sessions. To me, she is and always has been at her best when it’s just her voice and her acoustic guitar. I think she has the potential to be a great Country singer, if she wants to be (and I hope she does).

  7. Phil
    May 12, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    To think this whole time I thought it was Snickers that sastisfied.

    But seriously, the problem with this song for me is the artist is once again telling the listener how to feel rather than letting the listener feel it for him or herself. That has been my main contention about today’s music for awhile now, and why I just don’t get a feeling for it. This song (like most of today’s songs) leaves the listener on the outside looking in, rather than on the inside looking out.

    To me, the job of an artist is to allow the listener into the song as an observer from inside the song to get to his or her feelings, but so much of today’s music the listener must put him or herself into the artists shoes and observe it all from the artists perspective so the listener is never really allowed into the song…only as an observer into the artists interpretation of the song from the outside looking in, meaning the listener is forced to feel what the artist is feeling. So yeah, for me, most of today’s music just comes across as preachy because of it, and this song is just one more very good example of it. Why I’m the only one who has noticed it is beyond me.

    Anyway, I’m off to get a Snickers bar now. Maybe this song would make a good commercial for a candy bar…it left me hungry for something more at least. :)

  8. Rick
    May 12, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    I really like Jewel’s vocal efforts when she sings in a straight forward and unadorned manner! Well, at least I think I would as I’ve never actually heard her do it yet….

    PS – Great picture! (Its too bad it looks a bit washed out.)

  9. Michelle
    May 12, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    Phil, stop letting the artists boss you around and use your imagination.

  10. Phil
    May 12, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    @Michelle OK…so horses were meant to run and flowers were made to bloom. How on earth am I supposed to imagine if the artist is telling me not to, and is doing it for me? How about a little imagination in the songs so I can imagine without feeling forced to feel it from somebody else’s perpective, and allowing the listener into the song rather than having to observe it from the outside. I want to think on the artists terms so I can find my feelings…not feel on the artists terms so I can find my thoughts. Unfortunately most of today’s music doesn’t allow for much thinking…so I can’t get to my own feelings. And afterall, the reason people listen to music is to get a feeling out of it. It’s kind of hard when the feeling is there before the thought takes place. At least for me it is.

  11. Steve Harvey
    May 12, 2010 at 7:36 pm

    This song is… fine.

  12. Michelle
    May 12, 2010 at 8:04 pm

    I understand that you think a lot of people “today” have very little imagination, but I dont have a problem turning a song in to my very own. It seems to me that you are having a very difficult time doing that. I’m sure you have an imagination and maybe it takes a little more effort using it with the songs “today” but it’s not impossible. I can’t use this song “Satisfied” as an example, because I’ve only listened to it twice. So, in other words, it has no “personal” meaning to me.

  13. Phil
    May 12, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    It really isn’t about imagination Michelle. It’s about relating to the song on the artists terms or the artist allowing the listener to relate to the song on his or her own terms. So we’re really talking about two very separate things.

  14. Michelle
    May 12, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    Maybe, your ability to relate to a song is more difficult than most everyone elses.

  15. stormy
    May 12, 2010 at 8:48 pm

    Phil: These are singers, not Jedi masters. They cannot control the way you choose to relate to a song.

  16. Phil
    May 12, 2010 at 8:51 pm

    I guess you don’t understand what I’m saying Michelle. I didn’t say I couldn’t relate to the song. Only the way that I have to go about doing so. One from the outside looking in, the other from the inside looking out. I happen to prefer the latter because the feelings are my own and not somebody else’s.

  17. Michelle
    May 12, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    Phil, maybe, you should listen to more rock than country. Then it can be all about “the artist allowing the listener to relate to the song on his or her own terms.” I think country songs are painting too clear of a picture for you.

  18. Phil
    May 12, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    Stormy…yes they can.

  19. Phil
    May 12, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    Michelle…it has nothing to do with the genre. Pop music and artists of today are doing the same thing. And there are plenty of Country songs from the past that allow the listener into the song from the inside looking out that I can relate to in that fashion. It all has to do with the tangible and the intangible. But I’ve already gone over that before.

  20. Michelle
    May 12, 2010 at 9:29 pm

    Yes, I know you have. I still can’t see how anyone, much less a singer, can control your thoughts.

  21. Phil
    May 12, 2010 at 9:45 pm

    Haha Michelle…I guess you’ve never watched American Idol (or Reality TV in general). It’s called manipulation. Which is basically what today’s music is all about. :)

  22. Michelle
    May 12, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    Well, Phil, I hate to burst your bubble, but nobody manipulates me. I don’t watch AI, but I’m certain I wouldn’t be manipulated by it. I’m not that weak-minded. I watch “The Bachelor and The Bachelorette” and how is that manipulating me?

  23. Phil
    May 12, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    They edit what they want you to see, and take out what they don’t. That’s manipulation right there. It’s not like it’s relegated to Reality TV. The media does the same thing. We are all being manipulated in many ways everyday for the sake of someone else’s agenda, whether we know it or not. How do you think Popular Opinion works?

  24. Michelle
    May 12, 2010 at 10:25 pm

    Well, you got me on “popular opinion.” I know it’s being edited and it has no affect on me. The agenda usually has to do with “the Franklins” but I’m aware of it and it doesn’t “control” my mind!

  25. Phil
    May 12, 2010 at 11:10 pm

    Think what you wish. But Country Music today is basically just one big Popularity Contest favoring a select few artists. It’s like watching American Idol all year long with all the votes and radio play going to the contestants with the biggest fanbase. They can release any song and radio will play it, and their songs will zoom up the charts in a few short months and then be gone. While other songs by less popular artists no matter how good they are sit on the charts for 7 or more months and don’t even crack the Top 20. It’s such a joke. And it’s being marketed to an audience who actually sits there and takes the time to power vote for their “favorite”, even though there is a huge audience that watches and listens and that they could be marketing to but are completely ignoring for the sake of appeasing the Reality TV mentality of our society today. Think of how much money they are losing as a result of this strategy.

    Basically, the industry and Country Radio is choosing the winners and losers for us. Artists are no longer defining a generation. A select few Corporations and the Media they own are. All just so they can appease their shareholders on Wall Street. That’s what happens when companies merge and consolidate. It eliminates competition and variety. And everybody and everything starts sounding the same as corporations just try to sign artists based off of someone else’s success and everybody just copies what worked for somebody else. Leaving the listener with fewer choices, and the artists and any innovation and creativity in the cold. It’s why everything is based on personality and image today (ala Lady Gaga)…not talent and creativity. And that goes for every Industry owned by large corporations, not just the music industry. Everybody gets stuck buying and listening to the same thing by the same artists (or a carbon copy) over and over again.

  26. Michelle
    May 12, 2010 at 11:36 pm

    I agree, but it doesn’t control MY mind. I’m sorry that it does yours. I will think what I wish and I always have!!

  27. Phil
    May 12, 2010 at 11:55 pm

    OK…but it sounds to me like you are letting your feelings control your thoughts. :) I on the other hand allow my thoughts to control my feelings.

  28. sam (sam)
    May 13, 2010 at 12:06 am

    Phil says that when corporations merge and consolidate “it eliminates competition and variety.” That may be true but I believe I have far more entertainment options of far greater variety today in 2010 than I did in 2000 or 1990. And I think the quality of many has increased as well.

  29. Michelle
    May 13, 2010 at 12:31 am

    Exactly what makes you think that, Phil? Is it, because I’m a FEmale? Actually, it depends on the situation. If YOU always allow your thoughts to control your feelings then it’s no wonder you can’t relate to a song.

  30. Phil
    May 13, 2010 at 1:02 am

    It would probably help if you took my comments objectively as I stated them rather than throw your own little bit of subjectivity into them. Maybe then you’d all figure out the truth and see what I actually said rather than what you think or feel I said. It doesn’t work when you try to argue objectivity with subjectivity and vice versa. I learned that a long long time ago. I just wish others would too.

  31. Michelle
    May 13, 2010 at 1:34 am

    So, your thoughts are OBjective and mine are SUBjective. Oh, I think I see where you’re coming from now. night-night!

  32. Phil
    May 13, 2010 at 1:45 am

    Think as you think you wish. And feel as feel you do. :) night-night!

  33. karen
    May 13, 2010 at 4:18 am

    I have to say that Phil has Got it right… but really I don’t believe we live in a democracy after all do we??? it’s sort of owned in every way.. and we only appear to have freedom, or do we? Well we do get to pick what profession we want to work in, so it’s not yet communism… but I guess when you’re an artist it must be really hard b/c they do only want certain ones and only so many at a time.. and it’s financially driven of course. I still think artists can make it w/o radio.. look at the Dave Matthews Band. There are lots of others too. Hard working musicians who start out as road bands and build huge fan bases over time.. it’s not entirely a lost cause for sure..

  34. karen
    May 13, 2010 at 4:34 am

    And don’t forget even if they are picking them and marketing them, the public can still reject, or veto. AI’s winners have not really made much of a mark the past few years, despite all the exposure and marketing. That’s where the artists with the proven fan bases can win for sure. The proof is in the pudding. You never really know who is going to appeal until people put their money down on the music.

  35. Phil
    May 13, 2010 at 6:48 am

    Well Karen, if you look at all the American Idol winners, and those who finished in the Top 4 and have released an album, you’ll notice that all of their songs and videos on youtube have the same audience. Females 25 and under…and females between the ages of 35 and 54. Which is the same audience that is picking the winners and losers on the show because of the way the power voting process is set up. Despite the fact that a much wider audience actually watches the show. But that audience is being ignored because it doesn’t take the time to vote, even though it watches the show. It all becomes about who the best looking guy is, and who has the best personality and prettiest eyes. Rather than who can sing and display the best musical artistry. It’s obvious the judging is skewed to favor the male contestants as well, and a higher standard is placed on the female contestants. The guys can have a mediocre performance and get away with it. Whereas the female contestants have to be good every week, and be conscious of how they display themselves to appease the audience that is power voting. All because of the agreement between AT&T and Idol that allows unlimited text voting. I’m sure you’ve seen the audience that attends the AI concerts…that’s the same group that is picking the winners and losers in the entire Industry today. But it is the Industry that is actually responsible because that is who they are marketing their product to exclusively. So the Industry is picking the winners and losers. And the Industry is just creating artists and acts to play certain roles today.

    And that is basically where the whole Industry is today in regards to who they are marketing their product to. Heck, every Industry is practically marketing to that audience. My brother works in the mens cloting department at a retail store and the first thing they told him was his target market was females between the ages of so and so and who make so much money every year. And again he works in the Mens clothing department.

    As far as living in a democracy goes…we lost that when Businesses used the 14th amendment to become persons in a judgment in 1886, and could protect themselves by using laws and amendments that were designed to protect the people. NAFTA and the WTO and the GATT treaty in the 90′s under Clinton then made it so corporations had even more power and didn’t have to answer to the Federal Government, and could create jobs outside the United States and move as they please to other Countries overnight. But mergers and consolidation really started under Reagan when he took office. Add to that the media is owned by these corporations, and there are only 6 National media outlets today thanks to the Telecommunications Act Of 1996 (when there were over 25 in the 80′s), so we get all of our news from a select few sources. And 90 % of all radio stations are now owned by a select few Corporations (namely Clear Channel and Infinity) so the playlists around the Country are all the same. And of course, the media and radio only has the Corporations agenda for which they work for at heart. You should read the book “Unequal Protection” by Thom Hartmann. It shows exactly how and why we are where we are today. It doesn’t take a political stand, and it does a good job of describing what Corporate Personhood has done to this Country. And it is even affecting our choices for today’s music and entertainment, what we eat, what we drive, what we wear, and how we live among other things. That’s not freedom, and that is not what Democracy is or the beliefs for which America was founded on.

    Oh, and to make this about Jewel…listen to her songs from the 90′s. She does a much better job of letting the listener into the song from the inside looking out rather than the outside looking in with songs like “You Were Meant For Me” and “Foolish Games”. Or maybe they’re just more relateable to a male audience. But it all has to do with the way she uses the tangible and intangible, and objective vs. subjective thinking.

  36. Phil
    May 13, 2010 at 7:09 am

    Oh, and I forgot to add in the Celebrity Worshipping society we live in today. I’m sure that fits in there somewhere.

  37. Razor X
    May 13, 2010 at 8:25 am

    “… Well Karen, if you look at all the American Idol winners, and those who finished in the Top 4 and have released an album, you’ll notice that all of their songs and videos on youtube have the same audience. Females 25 and under…and females between the ages of 35 and 54. ”

    So the music industry doesn’t care about females between the ages of 26 and 34?? Do women stop buying CDs at age 26 and start up again when they’re 35?

  38. Michelle
    May 13, 2010 at 8:53 am

    Everything you said about “AI” I agree with, but that’s why I don’t watch it! Liking “Foolish Games” and “You Were Meant For Me” isn’t a guy thing. I liked it and so did every female I knew at the time. Noeller and I had an argument on “looks.” I disagreed with him that you have to be picture perfect in order to “make it” in the music industry, but when it comes to “AI” I agree that looks are definitely gonna matter!

  39. Stormy
    May 13, 2010 at 9:23 am

    Weirdly enough, the woman poised to win American Idol this year looks and sounds scarily like Jewel.

  40. jb
    May 13, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    Really? Looks? Ruben Studdard? Fantasia Barrino? Taylor Hicks? Clay Aiken? Crystal Bowersox?

  41. karen
    May 13, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    Phil, I’m venturing to guess that women do the most shopping, including for their man??? I dunno, that’s the only thing i can think of as to why they would target women for a men’s clothing store.. I do think women tend to shop and spend more.. billions i’m sure. You should catch that movie, it’s old now.. “what women want”… it’s all about the ad industry and how women are now the buying force but it’s a funny comedy.

    Anyway, I don’t think us women solely judge music by the color of the guys eyes or his hair.. the music comes first but the other stuff attracts too.. and how come men aren’t this way with female artists??? I’d say they are b/c they show up on the video threads and call the women fat etc. etc.. if they’ve got some weight on them.

    Looks matter everywhere, not just music.

    I’ve been watching AI this season, though I never vote and I’m in that demographic you mention.. I really think Crystal is going to win.

  42. K
    May 13, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    I think AI has a horrible reputation for the wrong reasons.

    I’ve never understood why so many people have a problem with actual TALENT being discovered and contributing to the music industry. I’d take Miranda, Carrie, or Kellie over most of the other manufactured stars who can’t sing, co-write thier material, and aren’t polished performers.

    The show may give you a leg up, but more times than not it does nothing for a career. Look at Taylor Hicks, Clay Aiken, Katherine Mcphee and so many others as a few examples. Even if you win the competetion, you still have to put in every ounce of work any other artist does- tour, promote records, interview, record albums, and so on.

    As for the show being rigged? Those rumors have gone on for years, and there is no proof that has ever happened. Why does it even matter when the success stories seem to change once outside of the Idol world? Everyone said Adam and Bo were going to be huge, and look what happened to them.

    Everything is manufactured. Might as well just decide what you like and ignore the rest. We are all human beings perfectly capable of making simple descions about likes and dislikes. Yes, I watch Idol, but I’ve only supported Carrie. I don’t watch any other reality TV, and no one forces me to.

  43. Troy
    May 13, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    @Phil half of idol winners have been female and half been male. The problem with most of the women this year was that they were boring and didn’t have the voices for mainstream music. I remember from season 5 Kellie Pickler had couple rough weeks but wasn’t even in the bottom 3.

    Most of your post I’ve seen on here you say personality and image are most important to the music but when didn’t personality and music not go together? Like now Taylor Swift image has been of a high school girl her songs are about high school situation that happen. What music do you expect her to come out with. Personality going to reflect in songs. Which singers haven’t done this. Britney Spears, George Strait, Dolly Parton, Miranda Lambert, Dwight Yoakom, Rihanna, Jay Z. All of these singers from different genre and time period have had personality/image affect their music. You wouldn’t see a Britney spears video and then have sing AC music. Just like dwight yoakom image is of a country cowboy and that is the type of music he does. Personality affects the person experiences. And experiences affect the time of music they sing/write.

  44. Phil
    May 13, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    @ Troy. Yes…personality and image and music have always gone together. All I am arguing is that personality and image is now the tangible thing and the music is the intangible thing. It used to be the exact opposite (music was the tangible and personality and image was the intangible). Their roles have been reversed because of the highly visual Reality TV Celebrity Crazy Media world we live in today.

    So the Industry is selling a personality and an image today first…and the music we hear is the result. Rather than selling the music first and then getting the personality and image as a result.

    As far as American Idol goes…this whole popularity contest between the guys really started in Season 7, and has become even worse the past two seasons as cell phone sales and plans skyrocket and become more affordable. The show only has itself to blame for creating it in the first place by the way they set up their voting system that caters to a specific audience. Why do you think the judges keep saying the ladies and girls are going to love you to the guys after they perform no matter how bad their performance is? I’ve only watched since Season 6 so I missed it when Carrie and Kellie were on. And the fact that you mentioned Kellie had a rough couple of weeks and wasn’t in the bottom 3 only strengthens my case that personality is more important than the music and artistry.

    All I know is, I had no idea the whole Popularity Contest (especially between the female artists) had spread to the Country Music Industry until a couple of years ago. And I do blame Reality TV shows for it because practically the only way for a female Country Artist to have success today is to go on a Reality TV show or bring in an already established fanbase by some other means (and those fans only want to support their “favorite”). Which just creates one big Popularity Contest that only favors a select few Female Country Artists because of the Business Model that Country Music uses and the audience they must appease that Country Radio is forcing them to, and not getting their songs played because of it is my belief. I still don’t understand why the Industry is using this strategy. They must want to make sure Carrie and Taylor have no competition is my only explanation. Plus, all the promotion and publicity is going to Carrie and Taylor. So of course all the female Country Artists are compared to one another, and it doesn’t help that since they are all being forced to appease the same audience, they copy eachother and they all start looking and sounding the same. Add into the fact that the themes in Country Music have always favored the male artists and the Country Audience prefers male voices so they get 5 times more radio play. And now the Industry is signing more female artists based off of Taylor Swift’s success which will just create even more of a popularity contest.

    How does this affect Jewel?…Time will tell. But her last single only made it to #34 on the Country Charts. Hopefully this one does better for her.

  45. Mike
    May 18, 2010 at 9:22 pm

    I would have to give this song a thumbs up. The lyrics fit with the beat of the song perfectly. The message of the song stands out, and her delivery of the song was perfect, Jewel has a potential major hit with “Satisfied” if this doesnt chart well I would be very surprised.5/5 is what I would rate it at.

  46. James
    May 19, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    It’s a good song. Jewel is at a COMPLETELY different place in her life than she was 15 years ago, and I have been following her music since Piece of You Came out and she has always had a mix in the catalog. Her writing always represents where she is in her life, and right now she is “Satisfied”. It’s such a pretty song with amazing harmony. Your review is nonsense.

  47. Paul
    May 25, 2010 at 9:44 am

    I think it’s a great heartfelt song. The actual video enhances the experience. I’ve heard snippets of all the tracks from her album, and I must say I am very impressed. Jewel is INCREDIBLE!

  48. anthony marks
    July 2, 2010 at 10:21 am

    I think jewel is an amazing artist, not to mention very beautifull. Her music and voice are like a bunch of angels looking at us and speaking. thats what I think!

  49. Stormy
    July 2, 2010 at 10:42 am

    I thought it was an Angel Standing By?

  50. santana
    February 21, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    does anyybody know where i can find an instrumantal for this song? ive been loooking all over and havent found on yet.

Sponsors

Juli Thanki on WAMU's Bluegrass Country

Tagged In This Article

//

Current Discussion

  • Jack Hanford: For those who are interested, there is a new 90-minute documentary video about Tompall & the Glaser Brothers on DVD …
  • joe morris: how come nobody mentions his fan club which started 1950 and was called the " the penny pushers " which …
  • jane: I'm reading this article in 2013 and I've yet to hear anything from the album played on the radio.....
  • Catwandy: I guess Matt C. is eating his well-deserved crow 'bout now. Critics....gotta love 'em , bless their little hearts.
  • Ed McClendon: Saw the brothers in Greeley CO on the occasion of Tompall's 50th birthday. The show wasn't well promoted and there …
  • Roby Fox: I'm sure no one else will know, or even care about this little tidbit of trivia. "Keep Your Change" was …
  • kate wonders: Roni Stoneman is still on Hee Haw every Sunday night on RFD channel.
  • Marsha Blades: Tommy, You were so kind to me during a tough time in my life and I don't think I ever …
  • Leona Jones: I seen Chris at the Grand Ole Opry last week.. First time I have heard of him.. He rocked the …
  • Sonicjar Music: Agree with Lucas, But one thing is certain, for a song to come to existence, so many things have to …

Recently Reviewed Albums

  • Blind Boys of Alabama - Take the High Road
  • Del McCoury Band & Preservation Hall Jazz Band - American Legacies
  • Aaron Lewis - Town Line
  • Josh Kelly - Georgia Clay
  • The Gibson Brothers - Help My Brother
  • jesse-brewster_wrecking-ball
  • Lucinda Williams - Blessed
  • Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers - Hymns from the Hills