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Sixpence None the Richer
[ sixpence none the richer ]

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SIXPENCE NONE THE RICHER (1998)
Sixpence None the Richer - Click to view! Uncommon it is for an established, five-year running band to be defined by a mega-megahit on national radio. Yet such is the case for Sixpence None the Richer and the lovable "Kiss Me" single; the stereotype - that a trite love song summarizes the band's heart and intent - is easily overcome after one listen to their self-titled project. Joining a broad number electric, acoustic, Celtic, Eastern and pop music elements, this 13-track excursion commences with "We Have Forgotten," a picture of grasping inconsistent dreams in a state of unwillingness. Poetic and flighty, "Anything" dies to the fear of being boxed-in as it looks for God's affirmation. The last of Sixpence's 3-song trilogy (detailing their struggles in years of mishandled record contracts and personal conflicts), "The Waiting Room" is a bass-driven flow of Spanish-tinted melody that sees all of life awaiting completion at God's word. Strikingly beautiful, "Kiss Me" and its success have, I trust, made some Christians come to grips with the truth that love and physical expression of it was created by God, and is in no way "unChristian." The Irish-minded track 5 questions a "mighty intellect" blinded by hope, hardly noting reality's response: am I that "Easy to Ignore?" Nestled between the stirring, foreign "Puedo Escribir" and emotion-dependent "The Lines of My Earth," a broad and colorful brushstroke entitled "I Can't Catch You" lightens the CD with it's honest look at truths and fears. Well-received on CHR, "Sister, Mother" sees life as relationships, faces to dare and embrace. Eerie and indescribable, the following cut is haunted by a minor-key declaration of departing depression. The two succeeding songs follow in a vein of alterna-pop so tranquil in artistic wording. Cutting the charade of church-contained faith, Sixpence pursues to reflect "Love" through Christ's power. As "Moving On" perseveres through the "tunnel without light," an uplifting remix of the mainstream hit "There She Goes" closes the album in a strong advance of vocal and acoustic energy. Permeated with a flowing and deep vocabulary, and an always-imaginative alternative mix, Sixpence None the Richer realizes their tremendous combined potential on this self-titled masterpiece.
- Josh M. Shepherd
July 1999
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