Steve Poltz owes his career to ex-girlfriend Jewel. Having co-written one of her biggest hits, "You Were Meant For Me," Jewel returns the favor on Poltz's debut solo release, "One Left Shoe." The 15 folk-oriented tracks fluctuate between mellow and miserably depressing -- a giant experiment packed with gloomy tales of love and love lost that showcase Poltz's artistic potential.
"Forbidden Fruit" features no-nonsense lyrics that form deep analogies about life, while the title-track plunges into the extreme melancholy of lost romance. Poltz skillfully uses a variety of instruments -- including banjos and violins -- to produce an eclectic Southern sound. Jewel's background vocals on "I Thought I Saw You Last Night," are entrancing, although Poltz's vocals are somewhat thin.
The disc ends on a positive note with "Beautiful Day." Judging from this release, Poltz has many more of these in his future.