Jewel's debut album, Pieces of You, reveals a special voice--strong and focused on both the whispery verses and the hooky choruses. The recording also exposes an unfortunate tendency to present trite, hackneyed sentiments as if they were oracular visions from a young prophet to a jaded world. For the most part, Jewel sings to her own acoustic guitar accompaniment, but she has a lot more in common with, say, the Indigo Girls or Lisa Loeb than with Judy Collins or Nanci Griffith. Despite her soft soprano and pretty melodies, her songs have an iconoclastic edge which make her more of an unplugged alternative rocker than a folkie. Her songs too often betray their origins as written verse in their hard-to-sing meters, unmusical phrasing, and diary-like pronouncements. Nonetheless, a few numbers, such as "Morning Song" and "You Were Meant for Me," show a spark of humor about romance, and hint that Jewel may yet write songs worthy of her remarkable voice.