London EC1 Barbican Theatre

Every day is a winding road, you know, love is a flame....

EVERY DAY IS A WINDING ROAD, YOU KNOW, LOVE IS A FLAME. Apparently, though, we’re all “gonna be OK”, because Jewel has had a conference with God, and she [I]knows [/I]these things.

‘Spirit’ – yeuch! – is the Alaskan singer-songwriter’s second LP, and her proclivity for syrupy platitudes can no longer be blamed on her barefaced farm-girl naivety. Jewel should have now seen enough of the world to know it isn’t really like a fabric softener ad, and [I]surely [/I]her brushes with the grubby flesh of rock’n’roll (Flea Chili Pepper plays bass on ‘Barcelona’) must have sullied her fwuffy wittle bubble.

No chance. This is a woman who can sing, “pooh pooh pi do” with a straight face. Someone who insists on warbling about how much she really wants to fly. With the Lord as her co-pilot. See, “We are given to God to bear our faith therein/But to be forgiven we must first believe in sin” (‘Innocence Maintained’). ‘Spirit’ has about as much power to convert as a string of Sheryl Crow B-sides.

Even Jewel‘s holy chum in the firmament, if He has any taste at all, will look upon this album and see that it is evil. Nevertheless, it will sell millions.