December 14, 1998 12:00 PM

Jewel (Atlantic)

‘Tis the season, apparently, for pop lessons in New Age metaphysics. On the heels of releases from the newly spiritual Madonna and Alanis Morissette, Jewel Kilcher follows with this earnest album about her quest for that which profits from her 1995 eight-million-selling debut, Pieces of You, cannot buy. Jewel sings her creed in songs like “Innocence Maintained,” with sometimes clumsy lyric constructs: “We all will be Christed when we hear ourselves say/ We are that to which we pray.” Well, her heart, if not her verbs, is in the right place. Overall the creaky pace of the album is so ’60s coffeehouse that you can almost visualize the Chianti-bottle candleholders. But Jewel’s vocals are beautiful throughout—not surprisingly—and when she puts aside the metaphysical musings and sings in a bluesy country drawl, as she does on the almost Dylanesque “Do You,” she shows some real personality.

Bottom Line: Wake us when it’s over

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