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Sixpence None the Richer is an American pop/rock band formed in New Braunfels, Texas in 1992. The group disbanded in 2004 and reunited in 2007. Its current members are vocalist Leigh Nash, guitarist/cellist Matt Slocum, and bassist Justin Cary.
To date, the group has released 5 full-length albums:
- The Fatherless and the Widow (1994)
- This Beautiful Mess (1995)
- Sixpence None the Richer (1997)
- Divine Discontent (2002)
- The Dawn of Grace (2008)
- Strange Conversation (due out in 2011)
Tropes that apply to Sixpence None the Richer include:
- Bilingual Bonus: "Puedo Escribir", inspired by the poetry of Pablo Neruda.
- Black Sheep Hit: The band doesn't hate "Kiss Me", but it does stand in stark comparison to most of what came before it.
- Christmas Songs: The Dawn of Grace.
- The Cover Changes the Gender: Averted by "There She Goes", where it's still a "she" despite a woman singing it. (However, depending on your interpretation, the song may not have been written about a woman to begin with.)
- Creator Breakdown: Getting jerked around by a record label in the process of going out of business provided a lot of songwriting fuel for their self-titled album. That albums opening trilogy and "The Lines of My Earth" are especially notable, making it sound as if the band was about ready to pack it in.
- Darker and Edgier: This Beautiful Mess deals rather unflinchingly with depression in many of its tracks.
- Fading Into the Next Song: The self-titled album has two "trilogies", so to speak, that do this: The opening "We Have Forgotten"/"Anything"/"The Waiting Room" and the "Sister Wisdom Trilogy" consisting of "Sister Mother", "I Won't Stay Long", and "Love".
- Follow Up Failure: Sort of an enforced aversion. "Kiss Me" was the only hit single from the original version of the album Sixpence None the Richer. In its wake, none of the other tracks from that record were even considered, apparently, since the band's next single was their newly-recorded cover of "There She Goes", which got tacked onto later releases of the album.
- Gratuitous Panning: The opening verse of "Disconnect".
- Greatest Hits Album: Almost as many studio albums as the band's released so far! Collage: A Portrait of Their Best collected highlights from their earlier material to catch newer fans up after "Kiss Me" hit it big, while The Best of Sixpence None the Richer, The Early Years and Greatest Hits all appeared during the long wait between Divine Discontent and Strange Conversation.
- Lampshade Hanging: A rare non-humorous example in the opening line of "Anything": "This is my forty-fifth depressing tune."
- Last-Note Nightmare: This Beautiful Mess ends with "I Can't Explain", which terminates somewhat abruptly.
- Lighter and Softer: Divine Discontent was a much more pop-oriented album than the ones which preceded it, though it still has its angry/moody moments.
- Mood Whiplash: The transition from the moody trilogy that opens their self-titled record to "Kiss Me" can seem a bit jarring, and most of the rest of the album is similarly downbeat. Matt Slocum wanted to leave "Kiss Me" off the album for this very reason, until a producer persuaded him to include it.
- Not Christian Rock: Their work is often cited when the debate over what gets considered Christian Rock comes up. Leigh and Matt are Christians. The band's name was inspired by CS Lewis. Several tracks express praise to God and/or were inspired by Scripture. But they tend to shy away from the "Christian Rock" descriptor for much the same reason as bands like Switchfoot and POD.
- Rearrange the Song: The final track on The Fatherless and the Window is "Trust (Reprise)". a complete remake of "Trust" from earlier in the album, replacing the upbeat acoustic guitar strum with solemn piano and cello. It's arguably the better-known version of the song.
- Refrain From Assuming: Track 11 on their self-titled album is called "Love", not "I Need Love". This wasn't a big deal for the first few years of that song's existence, but it became confusing after they covered the Sam Phillips song "I Need Love".
- Revolving Door Band: An array of bassists, drummers, guitarists, and even a keyboardist have come and gone over the years. Matt and Leigh have been the only constants.
- Rockstar Song: "Spotlight" attests to an uneasiness about fame, which is interesting considering how early in the band's career it was written.
- Signature Song: "Kiss Me". So ubiquitous during the late 90's/early 2000's that it was the go-to song for any number of teen comedies/dramas.
- Silly Love Songs: "Kiss Me" would be the obvious choice, but they also had "Field of Flowers" in the early days. Leigh's solo album Blue on Blue was full of these.
- Uncommon Time: The verses of "Puedo Escribir" are played in 11/8 time.
- While Rome Burns: "Paralyzed". Matt's encounter with a journalist who lost a friend in Kosovo leaves him feeling like his band, with its three-minute pop songs, is "fiddling while Rome is burning down".