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Love Among the Ruins Import

47 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, June 17, 1997
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Love Among the Ruins + Wishing Chair + In My Tribe
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Every song here sports the customised blend of sprightly guitars and warm-bath keyboards that marked this band's salad days. But Mary Ramsay is no Natalie Merchant, and her bland delivery ensures that these dozen tunes sound more or less identical, even if their ho-hum cover of Roxy Music's "More Than This" was a big US radio hit. --Jeff Bateman

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Every song here sports the customized blend of sprightly guitars and warm-bath keyboards that marked this band's salad days. But Mary Ramsay is no Natalie Merchant, and her bland delivery ensures that these dozen tunes sound more or less identical, even if their ho-hum cover of Roxy Music's "More Than This" was a big radio hit. --Jeff Bateman

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 17, 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Geffen UK
  • ASIN: B000000OVT
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #131,890 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 34 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 12, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Yeah, yeah, yeah--10,000 Maniacs is dead; Mary Ramsey is no Natalie Merchant; This isn't the same band.... yadda, yadda, yadda. Listen, this is a GREAT album. Mary Ramsey's voice is soothing and the band is as finely tuned as ever. If this CD had been released by a group with a different name, fans of the Maniacs would be singing its praises--instead these bitter fans are still crying in their beer. Get over it! They're right though; 10,000 Maniacs isn't the same group without Natalie, but that doesn't mean "different" is bad. KEEP ON SINGING, MARY! (BTW I've also bought Natalie's solo albums and love them too.)
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 9, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Love Among the Ruins is the first new studio album from 10,000 Maniacs since 1992's Our Time in Eden.
Leaving soon-after the release of MTV Unplugged in 1993, Natalie Merchant was replaced by Mary Ramsey. Mary, part of the duo John & Mary, brings new life into the band. She adds a vocal quality similar to Natalie's, but also brings a unique contributiion in her excellent viola playing.
More Than This and Rainy Day, singles from the album, are good pop songs that are sure to please. Green Children will cast aside any doubts of Mary's vocal ability.
With Love Among the Ruins, the musical style of 10,000 Maniacs has returned somewhat to the early days of the band. LAtR sounds very similar to The Wishing Chair, reflecting the return of John Lombardo, also of John & Mary. Although Mary Ramsey is frequently referred to as 10KM's "new" lead singer, it should be noted that she contributed to both Our Time in Eden and MTV Unplugged as well. John Lombardo, having left the band after the release of the The Wishing Chair, is a welcome return. His excellent guitar work is heard throughout Love Among the Ruins. In short, the integration of John & Mary into the band has produced a hybrid of old and new that can only be described as excellent.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Edelman TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 23, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Natalie Merchant may have been the lyrical muse of 10,000 Maniacs, but this album (and Merchant's solo works) show that the compositional genius rested with Buck et al. I bought this album on a whim, not having heard any of it, and I was very plesantly surprised. Even without Merchant's distinctive voice this is very definitely a 10,000 Maniacs album, with all the distinctive melodies and arrangements we expect from the band. It's a pity that the reformed Maniacs haven't gotten the same press that Merchant has, as I think their post-breakup musical output has, in general, been superior to hers.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By depthfunction on July 31, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I remember, back when this album was released in 1997, hearing a radio DJ, in an attempt to promote the album, proclaim, "Mary Ramsey sounds just like Natalie Merchant!!" And I remember thinking to myself, "No she doesn't; what in the world is he listening to?" Because it was just that kind of comparison, I think, which doomed this lineup of 10,000 Maniacs right from the start.

I will say that Mary Ramsey's voice is just as distinctive as Natalie Merchant's. But it is very different--neither better nor worse--just different. The rest of the band, though, sound like classic Maniacs. Their music reminds me more of their "Blind Man's Zoo" era than anything else.

But what is clear upon listening to this album is not only that Ramsey sounds different from Merchant, but that when Merchant left the band to pursue a solo career, she also took with her the band's social and political consciousness. The songs on this album lack the anti-war, pro-liberal, pro-feminist commentary that the earlier 10,000 Maniacs albums are known for (which demonstrates just how much of a powerful creative influence Merchant had over the band). Instead, we have a dozen of your typical mid-nineties adult-contemporary-style love songs. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but again, it makes for a very different "10,000 Maniacs experience". The songs here are pleasant, upbeat, and catchy.

When Merchant left the band and Ramsey was brought in, the wise thing to do would have been to give this new lineup a different name. That way, they could have had a fresh start without the never-ending (mostly negative) comparisons between Ramsey and Merchant. I think if that had happened, then the former Maniacs might have seen a lot more post-Merchant success than they did.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By C. Stephans VINE VOICE on March 16, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Thoroughly good cd. The songs are classic Maniacs. Mary Ramsey is a more than adequate replacement for Natalie Merchant. She has a beautiful voice that works nicely with the music. The songs are not quite as stimulating as some of the previous Maniac songs, but are highly enjoyable. Maniac fans will not be disappointed. I certainly an not.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Vilbs on August 29, 2003
Format: Audio CD
This album was done a huge disservice in that it was released under the name 10,000 Maniacs. This guaranteed two things... first, long time maniacs fans would be turned off by a different group sound minus the talented Natalie Merchant, and secondly, that new fans will not be attracted by such an established name. This album was doomed to obscurity before it was even released and that's a shame, since it really is a pretty piece of music.
Soft and melodic, with quality keyboarding and guitars guiding Mary Ramsey's spritely vocals, each song fits well with the songs before and after it, creating a very cohesive listening experience. From start to finish it's a soothing musical escape, great for the drifting reflections of a rainy day. The album together is stronger than the sum of its parts, and should definitely be listened to from start to finish, but if I had to pick standout tracks they would include, "Rainy Day", "Even With My Eyes Closed", "Green Children", and the well done cover "More Than This".
This isn't the same old maniacs, either in sound or lineup, and Mary Ramsey cannot replace Natalie Merchant, but if given a chance this album can easily be enjoyed and appreciated on its own merits.
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