My Dear Machine EP
- reviewed by Andree Farias Copyright Christianity Today International
- 2008 1 Jul
- My Dear Machine
- Amazing Grace (Give It Back)
- Sooner Than Later
The biggest comeback of the year is no doubt that of Sixpence None the Richer, the alternative pop powerhouse best known for the breakout single "Kiss Me." On top of critical acclaim across the board, the band had a dedicated following in Christian music, despite their reluctance to be lumped with mainline CCM bands. Ironically, the duo announced they were splitting up in a 2004 issue of
After some soul-searching, personal tribulations, and various musical excursions, members Leigh Nash and Matt Slocum decided to get back together and continue making Sixpence music "for the next 2,000 to 3,000 years." The
It's unclear who wrote what, but the songs feel like b-sides—leftovers or throwaways from past (or future?) album sessions. Take the plaintive "Sooner Than Later," an alt-pop downer with a meandering melody that would've fit gingerly on Nash's solo debut.
Things pick up with the Springsteen-esque title track, a horn-drenched rocker that seems to be about the band's regret over breaking up prematurely. Nothing subpar about this stadium-sized number—it just feels a little underdeveloped, not as fleshed-out and delicate as their best material.
The only song that partially captures Sixpence's dreamy otherworldliness is the stark "Around," an almost celestial composition adorned with strings, guitars, and what sounds like a glockenspiel for a woeful, beautiful elegy that seems to describe the end of a relationship (perhaps Nash's divorce in 2007).
That leaves us with "Amazing Grace (Give It Back)," a plaintive prayer that sounds like a demo from the
Then again, this is Sixpence we're talking about. Given its viral, pay-what-you-want release through NoiseTrade.com, this four-track EP is less likely targeted towards evangelicals than it is to those who have grown alongside the band since its humble beginnings on the R.E.X. label through its maligned years at Squint and Word. Even if