Sixpence None the Richer - This Beautiful Mess
2. Love, Salvation, the Fear of Death
4. Within a Room Somewhere
5. Melting Alone
6. Circle of Error
7. The Garden
9. Thought Menagerie
10. Maybe Tomorrow
12. I Can't Explain
Sixpence's sophomore album is definitely an improvement over the debut. The production is a lot better and the songs sound "fuller" if that makes sense. That could be due to new guitarist Tess Wiley. It also has something to do with the fact that this disc isn't quite as quiet or acoustic as the last one. One listen to the blistering "Angeltread" will convince you of that. Yeah, you don't usually associate the word "blistering" with Sixpence. I will say the the lyrics are a good deal more depressing on this one. Almost to the point where I have to check my mood before I listen to it. "Melting Alone," "Within a Room Somewhere," and "Bleeding" are all downers that, while great songs, are not good if you're prone to pity parties.
I had the chance to meet vocalist Leigh Nash (then Bingham - before she got married) at Kindgom Bound. She was probably the sweetest, nicest artist I'd ever met at Kingdom Bound in all the years I went there. She would introduce herself saying, "Hi, I'm Leigh Bingham" as though nobody knew who she was. I thought it was pretty humble and genuine. My girlfriend at the time told Leigh how she wrote a paper on one of their songs for school ("Meaningless" I think it was). Later that night while my girlfriend was at the Newsboys show (I didn't go because I think the Newsboys are evil) I went to the Sixpence table to have the band sign my girlfriend's shirt. Leigh actually remembered who I was, who my girlfriend was, and that she'd written papers about them. I was really impressed. Out of all the people she'd probably met that day she actually remembered meeting us. I was pretty impressed.
Useless Fact: Tess Wiley only stayed on for this album. I'm not sure why she left but she went on to form Phantasmic. And while I'd hate to bring out my ol' Terry Ferrel/Dax/Deep Space Nine analogy I'd like to point out that Sixpence just put out the best Christmas album ever last year and nobody knows who Phantasmic is. I should also add that Steve Taylor's wife did most of the artwork for the album.