feel bad for a band that has a major recording contract. Especially one
that has put out as many albums as have 10,000 Maniacs. Still, this
band needs Natalie Merchant more than oxygen. If ever there were an
example of how removing one element can kneecap a band, this is it. The
sound, the sonics, the lyrics, it is all still there--only that voice
is missing. Granted there was nothing this band could do, she left
them, but this album is as flat as the title.
It is difficult to punish a band for something they don’t have or
haven’t done, yet knowing the kind of work they once produced, the
songs they were once capable of, it is impossible not to criticize this
album. Yes, it is still above average when compared to other bands of
similar sound, but the old grey mare, she ain’t what she used to be. If
you have taken to the vocals of Mary Ramsey, this album will need to be
added to your shopping cart. However, we feel this album lacks that
final dimension of passion and emotion Merchant provided in spades.
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