Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Earth Pressed Flat
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock, Metal
10,000 Maniacs without Natalie Merchant just doesn't seem viable. Yet the band has been rebuilt with violist-violinist Mary Ramsey signing on as a replacement. Meanwhile, they've continued to mine the delicate folk-rock th... more »
10,000 Maniacs without Natalie Merchant just doesn't seem viable. Yet the band has been rebuilt with violist-violinist Mary Ramsey signing on as a replacement. Meanwhile, they've continued to mine the delicate folk-rock they brought back to the public eye in the 1980s. Covers of Mimi Farina's "In the Quiet Morning" and Sandy Denny's "Who Knows Where the Time Goes" are given the majestic treatment, while Ramsey's clear, clean diction gives even the poppier likes of "On and On" and "Beyond the Blue" an adult-contemporary feel. "Smallest Step" builds on a swell of Hammond organ and solid rhythms while incorporating Ramsey's strings and multilayered harmonies. Their audience may have changed following Merchant's departure, but 10,000 Maniacs are still be doing what they do best. --Rob O'Connor
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Life Goes On Nicely Sans Merchant
Romell | US of A | 10/09/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've been a big fan over 10,000 Maniacs for over 20 years, yet one thing that has never ceased to amaze me are those people who seem to worship Natalie Merchant as if she and she alone *WAS* the band. Looking over some of the negative reviews for this solid album suggests that many of these people are here.
Merchant was undeniably a charismatic front woman for the band. Her wonderful vocals, her sharp song writing, and her energetic stage presence played a huge role in taking a band with such unseemingly likely commercial potential into a platinum selling act. During her tenure the band made three superb albums ("The Wishing Chair," "In My Tribe," and "Our Time in Eden") and she deserves much credit for them.
But just because she left t is no reason to dismiss the band as irrelevant. If anything Ms. Merchant's woefully uneven solo career has proved that the band too had a hand in its own success and had it not been for the fact that this album was on a small indie label the restrained promotional possibilities, this album would have been a much bigger hit than it was. It is certainly an improvement over the band's first post-Merchant album to pleasant, but safe "Love Among the Ruins."
Here we have songs that stand out -- "Glow," "Beyond the Blue," "Once a City," "Ellen" and a lovely cover of the old Fairport Convention/Sandy Denny (both a big influence on the bad since the early days) number "Who Knows Where the Time Goes" are just a few of them and all are sung by Mary Ramsey who vocally can easily go toe to toe with Merchant. Anyone who takes a little time and has a little bit of an opened mind will find that the band did not fall by the wayside with the departure of Merchant.
Nat Is Gone. Get Over It.
M. Rowton | 11/20/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Natalie Merchant is an exceptionally good singer and her voice gave 10,000 Maniacs a good front. But she was NOT the band. The band continued on just nicely in her absence and, artistically speaking anyway, thrived with this first rate set of songs while she went on to a woefully uneven solo career.
The naysayers fear change and can't deal with the fact that someone other than Natalie is the lead singer with the band as if there is no difference between the Maniacs with Natalie and Natalie's solo career. Anyone who listens to both with an open mind should be able to say something along the lines of what the kid said in the Emperor's New Clothes. With the exception of Merchant's wonderful "The House Carpenter's Daughter" album, the Maniacs are making better music without Natalie than Natalie has been making without the Maniacs."
MBX | US of A | 06/11/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This album seems to be getting dismissed simply because Natalie Merchant is no longer with the band. So what? Contrary to popular belief there is more to a band than it's lead singer. Merchant was a great vocalist, but she was not the band has her uneven solo career has demonstrated.
On its first spin or two this disc might seem a bit underwelming, but its many many charms are revealed with subsequent listens and it is difficult to imagine a Maniacs fan not getting lots of enjoyment out of songs such as "Ellen," "Once a City," and "Smallest Step" to name a few and there is a very nice cover of Sandy Denny's "Who Knows Where the Time Goes."
So if you have been a Maniacs fan why not give it a shot?"