Despite a pair of duets with country icons Dolly Parton and Rodney Crowell, Jewel’s Picking Up the Pieces is mostly an intimate, back-to-basics album, focused on the same folksy introspection that made her debut Pieces of You a hit 20 years ago.
It’s appropriate, then, that the new video for “Pretty Faced Fool” is simple and straightforward. In the clip above, Jewel strums the acoustic ballad in a recording studio, while Christmas lights glow in the background. There’s also a short interlude showing the songwriter at one of her own concerts, walking up to the microphone for the first performance of the evening. Most of “Pretty Faced Fool” talks place in the studio, though, where Jewel produced Picking Up the Pieces herself.
On an album whose songs were largely written by Jewel, “Pretty Faced Fool” serves as the one track penned by others, including co-writer Kip Moore. The two are longtime friends, with Moore even serving as Jewel’s opening act in 2010. At the time, both singers were new faces in Nashville’s music community, with Jewel kicking off a more country-leaning leg of her career with that year’s Sweet and Wild. Picking Up the Pieces still bears traces of Jewel’s country makeover, although Jewel says she prefers to pitch her tent somewhere between country, folk and roots-rock these days.
“I think it’s the best home for me,” she told Rolling Stone Country last year. “Country radio has changed. Everything does. That’s what is great about music — it’s not a bad thing. But it is fascinating when you look at the history of what rock & roll used to be and what rock & roll is now,” Jewel says. “Everything has changed and altered. And I’ve changed and altered. . . I feel like I’m in the right home for myself right now.”