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SIXPENCE NONE THE RICHER - DIVINE DISCONTENT (*NEW-CD, 2002) Factory Sealed

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SIXPENCE NONE THE RICHER - DIVINE DISCONTENT (*NEW-CD, 2002) Factory Sealed

Pushing aside broken relationships in both their professional and personal lives in the last five years, members of Sixpence None the Richer are probably more relieved than anyone else to finally see the arrival of Divine Discontent. Yet true art seems to take its purest form when forged through turmoil, and this much-anticipated release is as pure as solid gold. The 12 tracks featured here are nothing short of a brilliant pop tapestry woven through Leigh Nash's airy and vibrant vocals and songwriter Matt Slocum's finely textured guitar work. While fans of "Kiss Me" will relate to the upbeat "Tonight" and "Breathe Your Name," no one should mistake the upbeat pop for shallowness. In fact, tracks like "Down and Out of Time," "Paralyzed," and "I've Been Waiting" display a rich lyrical depth centered on the human experience. Throughout Divine, Slocum showcases a prowess for offsetting Nash's lilting melodies against haunting, minor key choruses, creating a bittersweet melancholy that lingers well after each song. Perhaps the band does this no better than in the ending track, "A Million Parachutes," which captures that dull ache of longing for friends from afar. It's a feeling well known to those Sixpence fans who have waited five long years for this release. The wait was well worth it. --Michael Lyttle