June 26, 2000 12:00 PM

Jill Sobule (Beyond)

Album of the week

Often described as Jewel with a sense of humor, Sobule attained one-hit-wonder status with her controversial 1995 single “I Kissed a Girl,” an ode to exploring lesbianism before Ellen DeGeneres made it cool to talk about it. Although there’s no similarly chart-ready single on this eclectic disc (Sobule’s fourth release), Pearl is an entertaining collection of 12 deceptively upbeat tracks.

Here, Sobule slips smoothly from country on “Guy Who Doesn’t Get It” to bossa nova on “Mary Kay,” her sardonic look at a teacher who seduced a student. Sobule’s light sensibility is well-captured on “Rainy Day Parade,” where she chirps, “I used to have the stars in my pocket/Now I just watch them on TV.” But the standout is “Heroes,” a biting dissertation on our forever-failing icons: “Paul McCartney jealous of John/Even more so now that he’s gone.”

Bottom Line: Peerlessly perky satirist

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