[a]Sixpence None The Richer[/a]'s[B] Leigh Nash[/B] wilts shyly and steps up to the microphone. "Thank you, all," she gushes. "Thank you for being such a supportive audience."...

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[a]Sixpence None The Richer[/a]’s Leigh Nash wilts shyly and steps up to the microphone. “Thank you, all,” she gushes. “Thank you for being such a supportive audience.” And the audience coo back, and applaud. It’s so sweet. So touching. But [I]Invasion Of The Body Snatchers[/I]-style, [a]Sixpence None The Richer[/a] are killing our nation’s youth.

At the end of the ’90s, this multi-million selling band of Texan Christians characterise the malaise that’s infused modern playlists to the core. Whatever you say about Steps, they’ve certainly nothing of the insidious lifestyle statements that fester in the core of ‘Kiss Me’. [I]”Kiss me down by the broken treehouse/Swing me upon its hanging tyre”[/I], pouts Nash, sweetly, but Sixpence‘s take on the idyll of youth is about as authentic as a greetings card message.

So the theft of The La’s‘There She Goes’ should, by rights, have the Indie Nation up in arms. But Sixpence are cleverer than that. Lee Mavers‘ hymn to intravenous heroin use still shimmers beautifully, like it always has, and it’s this surface beauty that Sixpence work on. It’s such a noteworthy reproduction that nobody seems to notice it’s a polished husk, devoid of meaning.

These are songs for people who grew up too early, who never found Nirvana, or Oasis, or Ecstasy. [a]Sixpence None The Richer[/a] are the elixir of eternal middle age.