Kendal P. (KendalPalmer) from SPARTANBURG, SC Reviewed on 4/24/2010...
Fantastic from beginning to end!
Ross B. from MEGGETT, SC Reviewed on 12/19/2006...
CD and all inserts as new. Mailed without the case to save on postage!!!
0 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Early Maniacs' Music: A "Must Have"
Timothy J. Slivinski | 06/07/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Hope Chest" collects the early, independently released tracks that 10,000 Maniacs recorded before signing with Elektra. The mix of styles from post-punk to new wave to neo-reggae to dance beat is fascinating in itself. Equally interesting is the groups' subject matter in its songs: a painter ("Poor De Chirico"); a bullfighter ("Death of Manolete"); atomic boms and/or warfare ("Orange" and "Grey Victory"); multiple personality disorder ("Katrina's Fair") and two tracks putting anti-war British poet Wilfred Owens' verse to music ("The Latin One" and "Anthem For Doomed Youth"). It is clear from the very start that the Maniacs never intended to build a career on catchy pop melodies about love. And for the most part, they remained true to that vision in their music. The sound is a little more raw, a little rougher; Natalie's vocals sound a bit immature at times, but she was only in high school when some of the tracks were recorded. The polish of later CD's is missing, and that is exactly what makes "Hope Chest" so engaging. "Planned Obsolescence," the CD's opening track, may be the most amazing song the group ever recorded. With its loopy new wave sound and its insistent beat and Natalie's echoing lyrics, it still asks a profound question: Can science and fact ever truly replace faith and belief? This CD has become more of a favorite the longer I have owned it. If it is not in your collection, it is an amazing document of a tremendously talented group at the very beginning of its all too brief career."
P. B. Pereira | New York | 08/23/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is really interesting stuff. There seems to be a lot of different influences here, while later 10KM releases have a more concise feel, as a whole. Hope Chest is more varied. I'm not going to pretend I know what those sounds are (except for the obvious reggae influence in several of the songs), but I do know there're a lot of them. It's the sound of a band experimenting and it sounds good. There's a certain raw edge here and the lack of production values only adds to that energy. However, as some have noted, this might just be for diehard 10KM fans. The main reason for this, I think, is that the sound and the songwriting are a little rough around the edges; meaning, a lot of what Natalie sings is slurred mostly because the words aren't always timed perfectly to the music. The effect is rather as if Natalie is singing in a foreign language (which she actually is, when the odd Latin phrase pops up). You can see how she slurs many words and phrases when you try to follow the lyrics on the lyric sheet. This could possibly put off the casual listener.My suggestion for anyone wanting to sample the Maniacs is to start with The Wishing Chair (my favorite) or In My Tribe, then on to Blind Man's Zoo and Our Time in Eden (and then possibly on to Natalie's solos), then back to Hope Chest. I think it could be something of an experience to hear Hope Chest after hearing their more finely tuned records. Well, it was for me, anyway. It's also interesting, I think, to compare the four songs on Hope Chest ("Grey Victory", "Tension[Makes a Tangle]", "Daktari" & "My Mother the War") to their rerecorded equivalents on Wishing Chair."
The only one
joe | ca | 09/16/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
""the hope chest" is the only 10,000 maniacs album that i can fully enjoy as an album. the beautiful spontaneity of natalie's youth is so apparent and shining that after hearing "the hope chest" one is ruined for the stenciled drudgery of their subsequent releases. for me, this is the only album in which i can realize, and hear in the music, the passion which this young woman felt for her ideas."
A nice collection for the hard core fan
Michael Beaumont | Sydney Australia | 10/24/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"You really have to be a true fan to enjoy all this. It shows the great song writing ideas that were going on in the early years, but also displays a lot of inexperience and not the greatest recording quality."
Not your "typical" 10,000 maniacs: a documentary
Manny Hernandez | Bay Area, CA | 01/18/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As someone who had his teen years in the eighties, I was gladly surprised to have heard this album which depicts the first recordings by the band at the beginning of that decade. There's a blend of styles that range from reggae to ska and new wave, that show where Natalie Merchant and company came from. Filled with an innocent flavor that makes it all the more attractive, not your "typical" 10,000 Maniacs album, yet an extraordinary documentary on the band's original work."