10,000 Maniacs | In My Tribe

 
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Family Average: 6/7

We got another throwback for you all this week, brought to you by our momma, Patty Pancake. In My Tribe a late 80s gem from alt rock group, 10,00 Maniacs.

So throw on a flannel, grab some headphones, and listen along on Spotify as you take a gander at what we had to say:

 
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Boy oh boy, I am just getting spoiled lately; bathing in indie rock goodness. We got shimmery high treble guitars, and beautiful angelic lady voices oh—and angst. Lots and lots of angst.

Produced in the year 1987 this is the second major release for this East Coast American Jangle Pop group. Coming out in this very special time, you can hear the influences from a lot of bands. For example, The Smiths and The Feelies strike a strong resemblance. That all being said, this band does well to strike out on it’s own and bring some innovative ideas to the table.

Of the most striking is the vocal style of the lead singer, with a little reverb attached it does well to create a pretty soundscape. Another thing they do well to mix up is adding in some fun little rhythm sections, songs like “My Sister Rose” and “Like The Weather” have a little bit of a tropical feeling to them (not sure what that means but it’s a gut feeling I got).

Overall a worthwhile listen for any fan of alt rock. It caps off the album nicely with “Verdi Cries”; it does well to snap you out of your head-bopping trance and get you ready to start the album over from the top again. Bop them heads, Jangle that pop, bye everybody.

6/7  

 
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There really isn't one song on this album that I don't love.  I feel as though this was always playing as a soundtrack in the background during the late 80's. Natalie Merchant's voice, to quote Mike Meyers "is like butter"!  

Not only was this a beautifully crafted album, but it does so while making poetic observations of social issues. "What's the matter here" speaks to child abuse and "Cherry Tree" to illiteracy. Both are great songs and yet make you think about something we should be concerned with. Even the song "Sister Rose", which just sounds like a fun Italian wedding, has a critical edge to it concerning the choices we make when we get married for the sake of money or tradition.

The album then drifts you back to earth with “Verdi Cries", which may be my favorite track. Poignant and inspiring this is the perfect song to be right here.

7/7

 
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Finishing up my listen to 10,000 Maniacs, and I shouldn't be surprised at this point. My mom is two for two at recommending albums. Right from the get go they had me. Between her unique sound and the band that seems to compliment each verse perfectly. Nobody overpowers everyone, but rather work cohesively to create that classic alt rock sound.

If you weren't paying attention, you maybe wouldn't have noticed how intense the lyrics were at times. But as the momentum builds you are quickly swept up into their world; the intensity of the lyrics now matching the speed of the sound. I loved this album, a new favorite.

6/7

 
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Its like I know this music but I've never actively, purposefully listened to it; it was always a name filed away in my brain. I’m glad I finally listened.

This album starts with “Whats the Matter Here” and you’re just excited. It's building up to something pleasing. Her voice, I love. The guitar is so soothing . “I’m tired of the excuses everybody uses.” —I like the way she words things, and the way those words escape her mouth. As the album continues she creates some vivid worlds. And the guitar just holds it all in, in a perfect, sunny way.

I kinda liked that she wrote a song about Jack Kerouac. The style of the song, like the sound of it, doesn’t really fit what I picture when I think of Jack Kerouac and the beats, but it was interesting.

That tropical guitar throughout the album is addicting. Reminds me a bit of Vampire Weekend, like a steel drums feeling. I liked the beginning songs better I think,
But the last one was so beautiful. Overall I was happy to stay, and I came back for a few listens after.

6/7

 
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10,000 Maniacs is one of the bands I’ve always enjoyed, but never actively listened to a lot of their stuff. This album is just an auditory experience of acoustics and sentiment -- a mix of that gloriously jangly guitar with Natalie Merchant’s floating vocals. It’s a pleasant sort of folky-pop that follows in the footsteps of ‘70’s singer-songwriter productions. The buoyancy of the music is juxtaposed with the darker narratives of the songs, conveying some pretty deep emotion and humanity. These songs were defining for the time period and provided a soundtrack for a generation, yet still feel relevant. The album is poetic and heartfelt, melancholy and extremely graceful. Each track tells a story, feels authentic, raw and timeless. There is a sentimentality and romance to this music, and it is a giant tug on the old heart strings. Overall it’s got a big soft spot in my heart for it’s authentic expression of emotion.

6/7

 
 
Sean Maldjian