The end of the road can be a be a bittersweet place. For fans of Sixpence None the Richer, a band that has had a whirlwind career, suffering plenty of industry setbacks, the end of the road has produced their final project, The Best Of Sixpence None The Richer. Best Of includes three brand new songs previously unreleased to fans as well as six songs exclusively only available on other compilations, as well as other hits spanning their career. So while this record has an abundance of treats, it may call itself The Best Of Sixpence None The Richer a little too earnestly.
The three new songs of The Best Of are must-haves for Sixpence fans while the other bonuses are just wonderful rare treats to behold. The album opens with new song "Loser Like Me," a piano-driven upbeat pop track that follows more of the Divine Discontent vibe and is followed by the pop/rock tune "Us." Although considered a new song here, "Us" actually first appeared on a 2000 compilation entitled Today Presents: The Best Of The Summer Concert Series. This is the first time, however, it's ever been made available on a Sixpence record. "Too Far Gone" is probably the best of the new tracks. Also piano-driven, an electronic beat and 6p's signature melancholy delivery make this a perfect addition. The song builds from its paced beginning til it reaches its fantastic instrumental rocked-out conclusion.
The remaining record is a mix of compilation contributions, rarities, and a few favorites from their albums. So the question arises, if this is a "best of" record, shouldn't it have more fan favorites from their original records? For a band who's had five records in a span of a decade, to only include one song off their memorable debut The Fatherless And The Widow and a mere two songs from This Beautiful Mess, just seems almost criminal. Where's "Field Of Flowers?" "Meaningless?" "Love, Salvation, The Fear Of Death?" What could have been the perfect Sixpence "best of" collection - perhaps a 2-Disc set with the rarities and more fan favorites together on two CD's - is somewhat just a jumbled mix.
Despite missing some key songs for such a project, The Best Of Sixpence None The Richer is still a worthy release. Compiling such songs as "Dancing Queen," The Ground You Shook," "I Need Love," "I Just Wasn't Made For These Times," "Breathe," and "Brighten My Heart" all onto one Sixpence record is a great accomplishment. To have these songs any other way, you would have to purchase each individual soundtrack and compilation. The record ends with a real interesting rarity - a version of "Kiss Me" where Leigh Nash sings most of the song in Japanese, originally available on a Japanese commercial single.
More of a hits record with a hefty helping of rarities, The Best Of Sixpence None The Richer is a wonderful finale for fans, even if it could have benefited from a little more thought and planning.- Review date: 10/24/04, written by John DiBiase
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