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PopEntertainment.com > Reviews > Record Reviews > 10,000 Maniacs

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10,000 Maniacs-Love Among The Ruins (Geffen)

It is pretty much universally agreed that Natalie Merchant, as lead singer and songwriter, was the main talent of 10,000 Maniacs. So how is it possible that this album, the band's first since Merchant left, is so much better than Merchant's 1995 solo debut Tigerlily?

It comes down to stronger songs and the talent of the band members. New lead vocalist Mary Ramsey sometimes sounds eerily like Merchant, but that only helps in this case. "Rainy Day" sounds much like a typical Maniacs tune, except for a hip-hop backbeat that somehow sounds perfectly at home. The title track feels like an outtake from In My Tribe.

The remake of Roxy Music's "More Than This" sounded like a horrible idea when I first heard of it the song was already done perfectly, and it strayed from the Maniacs' strengths but I've got to admit it this version works incredibly well.

For all of us that wrote off 10,000 Maniacs when Merchant went solo, Love Among The Ruins is a wake up call. (9/97)

Jay S. Jacobs

          

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