For the first time in her career, Jewel actually enjoyed a recording session -- that of This Way, her first album of all-new material in three years. "Doing records has always been hard for me," she says. "I could never figure out how to sing emotionally in the studio."
To capture some grit on This Way, Jewel grabbed the reins herself, co-producing the record in Nashville with Faith Hill producer Dan Huff. Her confidence is evident: The album is an assured collection of folky pop songs, atmospheric numbers and tracks like "Love Me Just Leave Me Alone," a Melissa Etheridge-style rocker. "It was fun to scream a bit," she says.
Out November 13th, This Way comes on the heels of a two-year break, during which Jewel says she contemplated never making another record. "In 1999, things had gotten too big," she says. "I was burned out." She spent time at the Texas ranch of boyfriend, rodeo champion Ty Murray, planning her next move. "Neil Young told me never to rely on hit records," she says. "It's a commitment I had to make. I have no interest in applying for the homecoming queen title every year.