Her album opens with the haunting yet poetic “Love Used To Be” and it is followed by the crisp acoustic ballad “A Boy Needs A Bike.” Her vocals are crystalline on the heartbreaking “Everything Breaks,” and equally delicate is “Family Tree.”
Rodney Crowell lends his velvet vocals on the haunting “It Doesn’t Hurt Right Now” and they produce one true vocal event. “His Pleasure Is My Pain” has a stunning melody to it, while “Here When Gone” is lyrically powerfully.
“The Shape Of You” is an ethereal vocal performance, while “Plain Jane” will send chills down one’s spine. “Pretty Faced Fool” is a mellifluous ballad, while “Nicotine Love” contains vivid imagery and lyrics.
It continues with “Carnivore,” where she displays her sincere storytelling ability and country queen Dolly Parton duets with Jewel on the autobiographical ballad “My Father’s Daughter,” where she pays homage to her father and grandmother. It closes with “Mercy,” which is yet another controlled vocal performance by Jewel.
Overall, Jewel’s voice is a strong as ever on Picking Up The Pieces. She is not afraid to showcase her vulnerability and it shows in her musical work. Her vocals are just too good to be mortal. It is authentic and filled with raw emotions. “My Father’s Daughter” is worthy the price of the collection alone. Her latest CD garners 5 out of 5 stars.