This Beautiful Mess

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This Beautiful Mess
Studio album by
ReleasedApril 18, 1995 (1995-04-18)
GenreAlternative rock, pop rock, Christian rock
ProducerArmand John Petri
Sixpence None the Richer chronology
The Fatherless & the Widow
This Beautiful Mess
Tickets for a Prayer Wheel
Professional ratings
Review scores
Cross Rhythms10/10[2]

This Beautiful Mess is the second studio album by American band Sixpence None the Richer, released in 1995 (see 1995 in music). The recording was produced by Armand John Petri, who also managed the band from 1993 to 1997.[3] This Beautiful Mess surpassed 50,000 copies sold during its first year of release and laid the foundation for Sixpence's self-titled breakout album two years later. This Beautiful Mess won the 1996 Dove Award for "Alternative/Modern Rock Album of the Year."[4] The songs "Within a Room Somewhere" and "I Can't Explain" were both minor hits on the Christian music charts.

Within a couple years of the album's release, two eventually significant rock bands formed under the moniker "This Beautiful Mess." The first originated in Colorado Springs, Colorado in 1996 and went on to become the platinum-selling act OneRepublic.[5] The second, formed in 1997, is the Dutch rock quintet from the Netherlands which continues making music under the same name.[6]

"This Beautiful Mess" is also used as the title of author Rick McKinley's 2006 treatise on personal and social transformation. The book's foreword was written by author Donald Miller, whose book he turned into a screenplay in 2012 for Blue Like Jazz, that was directed by Steve Taylor, who produced this album.[7]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Matt Slocum, except where noted

1."Angeltread" 3:28
2."Love, Salvation, the Fear of Death"Slocum, James Arhelger3:51
3."Bleeding" 5:04
4."Within a Room Somewhere" 5:06
5."Melting Alone" 4:03
6."Circle of Error" 5:04
7."The Garden"Slocum, Arhelger, Dale Baker, Leigh Bingham4:03
8."Disconnect"Tess Wiley4:20
9."Thought Menagerie" 3:11
10."Maybe Tomorrow" 4:22
11."Drifting" 3:42
12."I Can't Explain" 3:25
Total length:49:39



  • Armand John Petri – producer, engineer, mixing
  • Bryan Lenox – basic track engineer, mixing
  • Scott Lenox – assistant engineer
  • Aaron Swihart – assistant engineer
  • Tyler Bacon – executive producer
  • Gavin Morkel – executive producer
  • Duncan Stanbury – mastering
  • Jeff Spencer – digital prepress, design assistant at Nosegrind Creative
  • Kim Thomas – cover painting
  • Chris Taylor – title
  • Ben Pearson – photography

Critical Reception[edit]

At the time of the album's release, Sixpence None the Richer were stereotyped as both an indie band and a Christian band, which led to This Beautiful Mess receiving relatively little in the way of attention from the secular or "mainstream" music industries[8][9] — the band's lead vocalist, Leigh Nash, stated during a 1999 interview, "we really knocked ourselves out for [This Beautiful Mess] and it didn’t really go anywhere."[10] — although the attention it did receive was generally positive. The magazine Cross Rhythms highly praised it, saying "This, their second (proper) album, has been eagerly awaited and does not disappoint.",[2] and AllMusic gave a moderately favorable review with particular praise going to the songs "Within a Room, Somewhere", calling it "one of the strongest songs of the album," and "Melting Alone," which "keenly expresses the pain of loneliness."[1]

However, following the release of their eponymous album in 1997 and the explosion in popularity of the song "Kiss Me" in 1999, the band began to gather a much larger following outside of the Christian music industry.[8][9][10][11] Accordingly, in the years since, This Beautiful Mess has also received more, mostly positive, attention. Alan Parish penned an opinion piece for the online blog Medium, in which he detailed the profound impact the album had on his life, writing, "It was the best complete album I had ever heard, and to this day I consider it my favorite album of all time. [...] The internal emotions and thoughts this album spurred in me gave me a confidence and self-worth I had never before experienced."[12] Jesus Freak Hideout noted that the album was a step up from their previous work and that the addition of three new members since then made Sixpence None the Richer "a full band," and ultimately summarized the album as "a must for fans of 90s alternative rock, and jangle pop, and those digging deeper into the history of Contemporary Christian Music."[13]


  1. ^ a b Hill, Melinda. "Review of This Beautful Mess - Sixpence None the Richer". AllMusic. RhythmOne.
  2. ^ a b Rimmer, Mike (December 1, 1995). "Review: Sixpence None The Richer — This Beautiful Mess". Cross Rhythms. Retrieved April 28, 2024.
  3. ^ "Armand John Petri: BMHOF Class of 2012". Buffalo Music Hall of Fame. October 4, 2012. Archived from the original on August 24, 2013.
  4. ^ "27th Annual Dove Awards Winners". Associated Press Archive. April 25, 1996. Archived from the original on September 24, 2018.
  5. ^ Freedman, Pete (December 13, 2007). "One Love: Who the Hell is OneRepublic? And What's This About Them Being from the Springs?". Colorado Springs Independent. Archived from the original on March 24, 2016. Retrieved April 8, 2010.
  6. ^ Stimp, Jake (November 19, 2007). "This Beautiful Mess—Beautiful and Messy". The Blah Blah. Archived from the original on March 5, 2012. Retrieved April 8, 2010.
  7. ^ MacCorkle, Laura (2009). "Donald Miller: Writing His Own Life Story". Archived from the original on September 26, 2009. Retrieved April 8, 2010.
  8. ^ a b Cohen, Jason (November 1999). "The Gospel According to Sixpence None the Richer". TexasMonthly. Retrieved April 28, 2024.
  9. ^ a b Allen, Jamie (September 22, 1998). "Modern rock's Sixpence finding success among stereotypes". CNN. Retrieved April 28, 2024.
  10. ^ a b "Sixpence None The Richer". Pollstar. June 7, 1999. Retrieved April 28, 2024.
  11. ^ Jacobs, Jay S. (1999). "Sixpence None the Richer: There She Goes". Retrieved April 28, 2024.
  12. ^ Parish, Alan (February 15, 2015). "This Beautiful Mess". Medium. Retrieved April 28, 2024.
  13. ^ Balogh, Josh (August 17, 2023). "Sixpence None the Richer: This Beautiful Mess". Retrieved April 28, 2024.