Sixpence None the Richer - The Best of Sixpence None the Richer
Record Label: Word Records
Release Date: October 26, 2004
True to the word I gave at the end of my previous review of Sixpence None the Richer's latest EP, I went back and checked out the band's older material... well, sort of. I must admit, I mostly dabbled in their 18-song collective record, Best of Sixpence None the Richer, released at the pseudo-end of their career. But the most important part is that I found that I had missed out on what was/is possibly the best radio pop band in recent history.
This celebratory record displays Sixpence None the Richer's hits from both side of their musical spectrum: pop radio hits and dark indie-pop. The record actually starts out displaying the band's indie-pop side, and then slowly works its way into a massive sea of poppier hits. Again, several of these indie-pop songs ("Too Far Gone," "Breathe Your Name") draw comparisons to a more accessible Eisley, but each can still stand its own without being heralded as rip-offs (the band has been around for much longer than Eisley). The pop hits, on the other hand, are nothing short of incredible. These are the catchiest, potentially deepest singles to have ever graced modern radio and will be remembered by fans decades later down the road in the same way people remember Simon & Garfunkel. Certain numbers like "Kiss Me" are already being "re-glorified," if you will, by the likes of New Found Glory; and listen to their rendition of Crowded House's 80's pop hit "Don't Dream It's Over," and tell me you're not singing along.
What bothers me the most about the album, however, is that while this is an assembly more or less of the band's hits history, a good 60% of these songs are covers of other bands (most notably "There She Goes," "Don't Dream It's Over," and "Dancing Queen"). Now, the bands covered are laudably prestigious (we've got ABBA, Crowded House, The Beach Boys, Steve Taylor... and tons more), but it makes me wish that the band would have written their own songs instead of repackaging other band's hits. So while I have claimed that they are probably the best radio pop band in recent history, I now have to edit my claim and change it to: the best radio pop cover band in recent history; if only the band had written more songs like "Kiss Me." Here, originality takes a stifling blow and creativity receives a 5 (the middle ground between their creative side and cover band side).
But of course, seeing that Sixpence None the Richer is an extraordinarily talented band, we're left with excellent musicianship to enjoy. This collection of hits is not a bad record by any means; no, in fact, it's a mind-blowing record. It just isn't very... original. I feel like I'm rating their career as a band, and in a sense, I am. But as if to acknowledge this, the band has begun branching out into their moodier, more creative indie-pop side with their recent EP. This "greatest hits" compilation indicated a faux end of Sixpence None the Richer, but their career is actually just starting. View the album as a bridge from their cover band days to the more original days that are sure to come in the future.
I absolutely love this band! I got this CD and loved it. I had always loved "Kiss Me" by them, and I wondered why it still played on the local radio stations. But i do say the best song on the album is "Kiss Me (Japanese Version)" it is beautiful.