Sixpence None the Richer
First Appeared at The Music Box, March 2003, Volume 10, #3
Written by John Metzger
Admittedly, I never understood all the commotion about Sixpence None the Richer. The bandís breakthrough single Kiss Me was, at best, innocuous background fodder (albeit one with literary aspirations), and its cover of The Lasí sublime hit There She Goes was absolutely dreadful. So, imagine my surprise when I found the groupís latest release Divine Discontent to be not only listenable but also quite enjoyable. For certain, the album isnít groundbreaking, nor is it destined for "album of the year" accolades. But it does groove along with pleasing pop-rock melodies that put a sunny spin on otherwise sad thoughts, thanks, in part, to the soaring vocals of Leigh Nash and the glowing orchestrations courtesy of producer Paul Fox (XTC, the Sugarcubes, The Wallflowers).
Throughout Divine Discontent, Sixpence None the Richer often recalls the music of The Corrs, Dido, Edie Brickell & New Bohemians, The Cranberries, and 10,000 Maniacs, while tossing in a surprisingly solid cover of Crowded Houseís Donít Dream Itís Over for good measure. Spiritual themes pervade the album ó which isnít all that surprising given that the group began its journey as a Christian rock ensemble. Yet, the songs never become preachily overt or overly repetitious. Instead, they rest upon principal songwriter Matt Slocumís growing maturity as he searches for answers and meaning in his life. On Paralyzed, the discís finest track, the group tackles the topic of war, unleashing a relentless pounding of guitars and drums that pulsates harder than anything the group has ever recorded. At the very least, Divine Discontent will remind the bandís fans that after a five-year break, itís still going strong. For the rest of the world, it should demonstrate that Sixpence None the Richer is capable of creating more than just background music for Dawsonís Creek.
Divine Discontent is available from Barnes & Noble.
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2003 The Music Box