Sixpence None the Richer

This Beautiful Mess - Squint Entertainment 1999

Tracks: Tracks: 1. Angetread / 2. Love Salvation Fear Of Death / 3. Bleeding / 4. Within A Room Somewhere / 5. Melting Alone / 6. Circle Of Error / 7. Garden / 8. Disconnect / 9. Thought Menagerie / 10. Maybe Tomorrow / 11. Drifting / 12. I Can't Explain


Listeners who thought Sixpence None the Richers' selftitled album from 1997 with hits like "Kiss Me" and "There She Goes" will surely be surprised to hear the music of this album.

"This Beautiful Mess" from 1995 is actually the band's second album, and it shows a less polished side of the band. Though the vocals of Leigh Nash are soft and beautiful as we know them, the music is rawer and at times even slightly aggressive is with distorted guitars and heavy drums. The songwriting is generally less immediately melodic, but the songs are bound to grow on you after a couple of listens. Some tracks could easily be compared to indie bands like the Cranberries or even early Radiohead.

A standout tracks is Matt Slocum's "Within a Room Somewhere", which contains both soft melodic elements as well as raw distorted guitars. Other fine tracks are the group-composition "Garden", Tess Wiley's "Disconnect" and Slocom's "Maybe Tomorrow". My personal favourite, though, is the beautiful "Circle of Error", also written by Slocum. This is probably the song that comes closest the the sound of their later records.

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