29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
As a longtime fan of Sixpence, I have been looking forward to this compilation, and was not disappointed. "The Best of Sixpence None the Richer" (18 tracks, 73 min.) features of course the handful of the band's truly "greatest hits" such as "Kiss Me", "There She Goes", "Breathe Your Name", etc. After that, this CD attempts to collect the many songs that Sixpence has released over the years on various soundtracks and compilations, and in fact does a great job at it. While I had a couple songs already, most of them I didn't. Outstanding is "I Need Love" (from the "Here on Earth" soundtrack), as well as "Brighten My Heart" (from the "Exodus" compilation). Less stellar is the Abba-cover "Dancing Queen" (from the the "Dick" soundtrack). The Japanese version of "Kiss Me" is also not really needed.
Some key album tracks are unfortunately missing, including the 1-2 punch of "Field of Flowers" and "Spotlight" (from "The Fatherless and the Widow"), possibly the best Sixpence songs ever, but also missing is "Tonight" from "Divine Miscontent", as well as "I Can't Catch You" and "Love" from the self-titled album, also among the best Sixpence songs ever. This makes the so-called "Best of" not the best possible overview of Sixpence's career for the casual fan, regretfully.
I am totally convinced that Sixpence's career was tanked by the inexcusable 6 year hiatus between their break-out self-titled album (in 1997) and "Divine Miscontent" (in 2003) due to a label implosion and subsequent never-ending legal tangling over Sixpence's musical rights. I remember seeing the band in concert in December 2000, with Leigh Nash sighing to the audience "we hope to have a new album out soon". It would be another 3 years, and by then the window of opportunity had come and gone, unfortunately. Sixpence was one of my very favorite bands ever, and I wish Matt and Leigh nothing but the best. (For longtime Sixpence fans: Matt has been touring with Over the Rhine in the last year. Check out Over the Rhine, they are awesome as well.)
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on October 26, 2004
First, if you are a Sixpence fan, buying this CD is a no-brainer. You get three songs left over from the first Divine Discontent sessions, "Loser Like Me," "Us," and "Too Far Gone." That, in and of itself, is worth the price tag, especially when you skip ahead and hear "Too Far Gone," possible one of the best songs the band recorded.
The problem we encounter with this "Best Of" though is that it does not represent the best of Sixpence. This release tries to be 2 things and fails at both. It tries to be a "Best Of" but leaves off essential tracks by the band, and it tries to be a rarities album but leaves off essential rarities.
True, "Best Of" includes the radio hits "Kiss Me," "There She Goes," "Don't Dream It's Over," and "Breathe Your Name," but it leaves off essential album tracks such as "Love," "The Lines Of My Earth," "Meaningless," "Field Of Flowers," "Puedo Escribir" "A Million Parachutes," and "Love, Salvation, The Fear Of Death."
As a rarities album, this release actually works better, but it is still lacking. We get three previously unreleased songs from the Divine Discontent sessions, and they are not the usual filler you find on compilations such as this. Each song is a real treat to listen to.
We also get several songs from movie soundtracks and other compilations, but the quality of these songs range from spectacular ("I Just Wasn't Made For These Times") to dismal ("Dancing Queen"). Missing are the far superior and out of print classic "Bouqet" and the obsucre cover "On The Run." Also, there is dance remix of "Don't Dream It's Over" by Andy Hunter which has never been released and would have been preferable to yet another appearance of the original studio version here.
At best, this CD is a patchwork of songs with threads of genius running through it. It does include some of Sixpence's best work but falls short of being comprehensive as a best of. It does collect many of the more rare songs by the band but falls short of offering anything truly essential as a rarities album save for the 3 unreleased songs.
It is those 3 unreleased songs, and a generous track listing, that earn this release 4 stars and my recommendation. Without those 3 songs, I would place this CD in the worthless category as I do the early collection "Collage."
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on June 9, 2005
For Sixpence fans that rode the wave before and beyond the "Kiss Me" bandwagon, some glaring ommissions from this album will leave us scratching our heads, such as the absence of the brilliant "Northern Lights," one of my own personal favorites "Disconnect" from their "This Beautiful Mess" album, and "The Lines Of My Earth" from their self titled album (the latter being, to my understanding, one of Leigh Nash's favorite songs the band has recorded).
Nonetheless, the songs that ARE on this album are sure to please, especially given the convenience of having a set of rarities in one place that would be otherwise cumbersome to collect. The inclusion of three previously unreleased songs seals the deal for any fan on the fence of whether or not to buy.
The arrangement of songs on the album is awkward at best, and does not follow the typical pattern of a Sixpence album that almost seems to tell a story from beginning to end. But that is somewhat to be expected for a compilation disc.
The rise and eventual fall of Sixpence plays out like an ironic tragedy of sorts, peppered with folding labels and legal battles over the rights to their music, while the band seemingly just wanted to set forth music colored by a refreshingly raw honesty, highlighted by Matt Slocum's brilliant songwriting & guitar playing, and Leigh Nash's ethereal vocals. I long to see Leigh and Matt re-surface on the music scene in some capacity down the road, as I think each has a unique respective contribution to the industry not to be found elsewhere.
14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on November 10, 2004
Does one of the most smart & creative pop groups around really need a best-of? The non-singles are just as golden as the songs everybody knows, and newcomers would be better served by their self-titled disc or Divine Discontent. However.. the selling point here is the nice pile of material hard to find elsewhere (nevermind the awful cover), and I for one think the good stuff makes it worthwhile. And if my love of the band can survive the horror of discovering that they covered Abba, well.. it can probably survive anything.
Ten of the 18 tracks here aren't on the regular albums. Three of those are unreleased till now, and they're just as stellar as everything else under the Sixpence name. "Loser Like Me" and "Us" are intriguing steps away from their general dreamy glossy sound. I'd almost be tempted to call them retro-pop or use a word like 'throwback,' but they're a little harder to classify. Think bouncy 70s-style hooks with a cheerful sugary dose of whimsy. "Too Far Gone" lives in more familiar melancholy-ballad territory, but it's so achingly bittersweet that I can't complain. If there's any overriding reason why you need this CD, those three tracks are it.
The remainder comes from soundtracks and the like. Three of them are covers including the abovementioned horror; cute if you like that kind of thing, but I'll pass. The real diamonds in the coal are intelligent ear-candy originals like "The Ground You Shook" and the lovely uplifting "Breathe," which are more examples of why SntR is such a treasure in the pop world. (A few songs suffer from overly religious lyrics, but "Trust" is the only one that's in danger of becoming unlistenable.) And then there's the Japanese single version of their megahit "Kiss Me," which puts a fun new twist on the whole thing.
The biggest travesty is that the oh-so-perfect B-side "Northern Lights" is nowhere to be seen (or indeed heard). It's one of the most gorgeous pop tunes you're ever likely to hear and its omission borders on criminal.
The Best Of isn't perfect but it's got plenty to recommend it, and as a semi-obsessed fan I'd say even the weak points are (mostly) worth hearing. And considering that Sixpence has now broken up, well, that's just another reason to enjoy everything we've got.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 14, 2006
Farewell, Sixpence None the Richer. The duo of singer Leigh Nash and musician Matt Slocum split almost exactly two years ago, but their music continues to live. This CD is no exception. It contains the best of their songs, from the immensely famous and catchy "Kiss Me", to the lovely cover version of "Don't Dream It's Over". I have another country's edition, one that has 19 tracks. Some songs from this US version are not in the edition I have, and vice-versa.
1. Kiss Me - One of my all time favorite songs. The reason is that it is too catchy. You need no explanation. I really feel like I am in a creek at night. 10/10.
2. Loser Like Me - Very rock-ish. Not among my personal favorites, though. 9/10
3. Need To Be Next To You - A good love song with rock but sadly, it is not among my most favorites. 9.5/10
4. Breathe - Sounds very "Don't Dream It's Over"-ish mixed with some ballad. I quite like it. 9.5/10
5. Dancing Queen - Who wouldn't like it? 10/10
6. Melody of You - Reminds me of "Quando, Quando, Quando" by Michael Buble and other jazz songs. 9.5/10
7. I Can't Catch You - The song sounds like a Corrs song. Nevertheless, I like it for its country sound. 9.5/10
8. I Just Wasn't Made For These Times - If I listen to this, I feel like I am in a disco. And guess what. Disco dancing is one of my favorites! 10/10
9. There She Goes - Heroin? Nah. It's just a cool song. 10/10
10. Don't Dream It's Over - I don't know what I like more: this or "Kiss Me". Both are too catchy. I feel like I'm in the world of Super Mario Bros. 2 when I listen to it, so when I listen to this song, sometimes my GBA is with me. LOL. 10/10
11. I Need Love - I already have love. LOL. 9/10
12. Breathe Your Name - I feel like I'm listening to Alanis Morissette. Guess what. She is one of my favorite rock artists. 9.5/10
13. Us - So-so song. Sounds a bit country-ish in some parts, though. 9/10
14. The Ground You Shook - The very first part of the intro sounds like a tribal dance. But the song is actually a beautiful ballad I will not forget. 9.5/10
15. Too Far Gone - I like the intro of this song. The song is six and a half minutes long, though. I'm reminded of Avril Lavigne's "Let Go" album, but I don't know why. 9/10
16. Waiting on the Sun - Like "There She Goes", it's a bit short, but cute. I suddenly feel like going to the beach! :P 9.5/10
17. Brighten My Heart - I don't really like Christian music. This is an exception, because it is like one of the only God-themed pop songs I like: Mariah Carey's "Fly Like a Bird". 9/10
18. Trust - Another Christian song. It sounds like a children's praise song, so it's kind of cute. 9/10
19. Kiss Me (Japanese) - Kiss Me no Nihonggo suki desu (I like Kiss Me's Japanese version). 10/10
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on October 26, 2004
Sixpence is one of those rare bands where I go out of my way to try and hunt down every single thing they did. I, of course, have all of the full length albums, in addition to about ten compilation cds that has exclusive tracks from them.
Yet, I still didn't have six of the tracks represented here. Most people are not as fanatical as I am about things like this, so will find at least half the album to be new to them. Even if they own all of the full lengths. I am quite pleased with this compilation. It will work well for people like me looking to collect everything, and for the casual radio listener who wants all the radio singles on one cd.
The three brand new songs are great. No complaints there. I also like the covers from the Dick and Here On Earth soundtracks. While I hadn't heard the original "Dancing Queen" by Abba, I think it's one of the better covers on the best-of. Also amusing is the Japanese version of "Kiss Me" which weaves both english and japanese lyrics. It breathed new life into a song that's earned the term "radio overkill."
The big change I would make if I was in charge (and maybe there's a reason I'm not) would be to eliminate "There She Goes" and add the "Don't Dream It's Over" b-side, "Don't Pass Me By," which is by far the best song they ever recorded. It's a shame that it hasn't gotten an official release beyond the single. Sixpence fans! Pick up that single before it goes out of print!
The review from the Christianity Today website suggested that this compilation works best when coupled with "Portrait of their Best," because while a couple of songs are included from the pre-Kiss Me days, it's only a handful. The two best of's combined will give the "big picture," so to speak. You can pick up "Portraits" cheap from amazon.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 20, 2008
Not so much a collection of the best songs as it is a collection of songs from other compilations, single B-sides, and other rarities. (And yes, their single hits are included here as well.) But having all of these songs in one place rather than having to hunt them down individually is definitely a great asset.
The best news of all? Sixpence is back together! Their new album (a Christmas collection) has just been released (as of November 2008) and more is on the way. Can't wait!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 6, 2000
When I first saw the music video, I was also hearing the song for the first time; therefore, I can't separate the effect the song itself had on me from the visual images. The music video I refer to is that attached to the sound track of Dawson's creek. The video and the song complement each other so perfectly. Leigh Nash looked both like some unearthly creature and a princess all in one. The musical introduction also adds to that fairy tale magic about the song. It makes kissing seem like some wonderful and joyous. The lyrics take you into the atmosphere of the video. Its hard to place the emotions they evoke, its an adult love expressed in childlike pleasure and its pure fantasy yet it makes the joy of kissing real. Her voice is lilting at the right spots and interprets it with whimsical clarity.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 11, 2005
Sixpence None The Richer has always been a notch above the rest of the alternative sounds... Contemporary Christian or otherwise. With lyrics that goes in so many levels interpreted by Nash' soulful voice, this band has a special place in my collection. I was pleased at the variety of songs featured in this collection. Loved the Japanese version of Kiss Me. I was a little disappointed with the fact that one or two of my favorite songs were not in the album. I was also hoping that I could find her solo movie soundtrack song. Oh well, I can't have it all.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 9, 2006
Six Pence None the Richer only recorded four regular albums before they disbanded around 2004. This compilation covers their whole career and features all their biggest hits as well as rarities and previously unreleased tracks.
From their commercial breakthrough third album the two great singles "Kiss Me" and "There She Goes Again" are logical choices, but also a few of the strongest album-tracks also would have been nice inclusions.
It's almost the same with their equally strong final album, where the two hit-singles "Breathe Your Name" and the outstanding cover of Neil Finn's "Don't Dream it's Over" are featured along with the fine acoustic album track "Melody of You".
A few tracks come from hard to find soundtracks etc. and among these their cover of Brian Wilson's "I Just Wasn't Made for These Times" stand out. Compared to the Beach Boys' own Pet Sounds version, which I always found sounded slightly unfinished, this new version is by far the strongest.
Also "The Ground You Shook" and "I Need Love" are great non-album tracks that any fan of the band would like to have.
I'm not familiar with their first two albums, but judged from the tracks included here from the second album "This Beautiful Mess" they seems to have had a harder approach on their early records.
A fine compilation, though I would have preferred the Japanese version of "Kiss Me" exchanged with one or two of their fine album tracks.