I think you have to get the flavor of the spices to come out one way or another. I've been using crushed products and simmering them down in a mini crock, which thickens up the sauce and brings out the flavor of the spices. I've been using just basil and black pepper for quite awhile, with a splash of sugar and salt if needed. Just recently I started putting the sauce on the pie and sprinkling garlic powder over it prior to adding the cheese. It gives it some added pop and a really nice pizzeria flavor.
I try to simmer it down pretty good so I can get a nice strong flavor without having to use too much sauce. If I add more spice to strengthen the flavor; particularly more basil, it gets a bitter taste. If the tomato product is without the water, then there is no need to thicken, but if it has a puree to it, I like to simmer it down to retain the taste in the puree.