10,000 Maniacs

I have all the 10,000 Maniac albums (of the ones that Natalie Merchant was a part of, anyway--so all of them) mainly because they were easy enough to find used and because I used to be more of a Natalie Merchant fan than I am now. I think their music is good enough, though the personality of the band finally gets on my nerves.

see Natalie Merchant

Information: The Official Internet Home of 10,000 Maniacs
Suggested first purchase: In My Tribe

Hope Chest (1982-1983; 1990) -- A collection of the early EPs, Human Conflict Number 5 and Secrets of the I Ching. This is actually one of their better albums, since the sounds are more interesting than the fairly straightforward alternative sound of later albums, and since you can't tell that Natalie Merchant is wining as much (you can barely understand what she's saying--one of the fun parts of the album is reading along with the lyrics to see "oh, this is English"). B

The Wishing Chair (1985) -- A not-too-bad album of folky 80s alternative music featuring some of the highlights from the earlier EPs and pretty decent new ones. B

In My Tribe (1987) -- If you ignore Natalie Merchant's (and everyone else in the band, really) complaining about various "issues," it's a pretty good album. For example, "What's the Matter Here?" is a song in which Natalie Merchant is upset because a "white trash" family is yelling at their kid. But the music is great. 10,000 Maniacs are basically the small group of smart kids in a small liberal arts college who drink coffee and crap like that, and this kind of distant observation of the "problems of the world" is ultimately what makes me not like them, even if the music is good. Other musical highlights are "Hey, Jack Kerouac," "Like the Weather," "Don't Talk," the silly pointless wedding song (I mean this in a good way) "My Sister Rose," and the Michael Stipe-featured "A Campfire Song." B

Blind Man's Zoo (1989) -- More of the same, but a little less "light" (in sound) impressive. The highlight is the near-perfect "Trouble Me." B

Our Time In Eden (1992) -- A shinier album, also smoothly soft: pretty good. The standouts are "Noah's Dove," the wonderful "These Are Days," and the also-wonderful "Candy Everybody Wants." B

MTV Unplugged (1993) -- This actually works as a decent semi-best of collection, with pretty strings adding to the "unplugged-ness" of the album. They picked most of the right songs to sing, and "Because the Night" oddly works as well. B

Copyright (c) Aug 2001 - Apr 2005 by Rusty Likes Music