Loving Sixpence opened my musical world to all kinds of new, cool, artsy-folk-pop like my next (and continuing) favorite: Over the Rhine. I also got to see the band a few times in cool venues, like the Calvin FAC and Dimnet Chapel at
Anyway, all that was to say that I would love this album forever because of what it got me as a fan of music – expanding my tastes to new and interesting music. But as an album, I think it holds together as quality regardless of my history with it. The combination of Leigh Nash’s sweet soprano vocals with minor chords and driving guitar and string riffs creates a pleasant rockiness, and unexpected moments of beauty and intensity. (Come to think of it, the heavy use of strings probably influenced my love of this album).
Most of the lyrical content on the album is about artistic frustration – it reflects the frustration the band had (and continued to have after their success) with record companies. Although as a teenager I couldn’t relate to the pressures of the CCM market, I could get angst, and some of the songs (“Easy to Ignore” for example) even have romantic angst. I mean, I was 15 when this album came out. The images and musical intensity of these songs still resonate with my older, somewhat less angsty ears.
The album isn’t just a big angst-fest, though, it features complex theological questions (like “The Waiting Room”) and an occasional journey into the fanciful (like “Kiss Me” and “I Can’t Catch You”). It reflects influence from central American poets, not only in “Puedo Escribir” – directly influenced by a Pablo Neruda poem, but also in other lyrical moments and references to the body, like “The Lines of My Earth.” Matt Slocum’s writing about an “artistic womb” and “Flames of knowing kissing me” weirdly resonates with some of the chicana literature I’m reading for class this week, actually. Regardless, the lyrics are rich and complex, with surprising images and pleasing rhythms. All things I still appreciate in a good song. I’m glad this album that mattered so much to me has held up over time.