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Our Time in Eden

4.6 out of 5 stars 58 customer reviews

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Our Time In Eden
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Audio CD, September 29, 1992
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Certified at 2 million units by the RIAA. (2/01)

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The last album the band recorded before lead singer Natalie Merchant departed for a solo career, Our Time in Eden is the actualization of an unassuming college folk-rock band turned adult-contemporary group in the best possible way. Merchant's lullaby voice is more pure and confident than ever before. And although the music is still dominated by chiming rhythm guitar, the band incorporates an emphatic horn section on several tracks (most notably on "Candy Everybody Wants"). The best track is the sentimental swan song "These Are Days," which will evoke a distant smile and maybe even a teary eye, no matter how hard you try not to let it. --Beth Massa
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 29, 1992)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Elektra / Wea
  • ASIN: B000002HBI
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,216 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's 10,000 Maniacs Store

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
"Our Time in Eden" was such an apt name for this 10,000 Maniacs album, their last with lead singer Natalie Merchant. They parted ways in the summer of 1993, a few short months after I graduated college. This band helped me get through college, and really defined my musical choices during those years. So it was only fitting that my college days ended at the same time my favorite band broke up. Our Time in Eden is limited, and all good things must end. The end of an era in my life and in the history of college-radio music.
At least they went out strong. This album is a tremendous final work, in many ways surpassing their classic album "In My Tribe" in terms of musical & lyrical maturity and complexity. Not as light or folksy or pop-influenced as their earlier albums, this album really showcased Robert Buck's guitars and Natalie Merchant's vocals were powerful enough to (unfortunately) warrant a solo career.
The album isn't really dominated by one song (with the exception of 'These Are Days') but rather gets its strength from the overall style of the album and the equally strong pull of each song on the album.
I'll always remember the last time I saw the band, with Natalie perched on the edge of the stage, passionately singing the closing lines of "Gold Rush Brides." That memory and this album will always be some of my strongest from my last year of college. One of the best records of the early 90's alternative rock movement.
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Format: Audio CD
If Eden is to be symbolic of beauty and peace, then this CD is aptly titled. Next to "In My Tribe," this is 10,000 Maniacs at their very best. Maturity in lyrics and music are clearly evident here. From the beauty and ache of the piano driven "Noah's Dove," to the intensity of "Tolerance," there is room for thought in all these songs. Certainly "These are Days" suggests that life is worth living, while "Jezebel" questions but at what cost. Natalie Merchant's voice is an instrument that is capable of conveying the intensity of the lyrics present in all these tracks. This is one of those recordings that seems to get better and grow richer with each passing year. 10, 000 Maniacs were a thinking person's band; they perpetually questioned the state of the world and gave us insights about ourselves. This album belongs in any collection of seminal 90's music. It is a true testament to what music beyond the mainstream could be. I recommend it to anyone who is willing to accept the challenge of truly inspiring, creative music.
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Format: Audio CD
This first thing I noticed about this music is its sincerity. The music is from the heart and seems to me to have been intended to please the group rather than some commercial esthetic. The result is interesting and enjoyable music where the performers are allowing us, the listeners, to share in their inner vision of who they are as artists. You can readily hear the emotion in each and every song, and I wondered whether part of that emotion was the realization that this was to be the last album from that incarnation of 10,000 Maniacs as Natalie Merchant was preparing to depart for a solo career.

The first thing I noticed when opening the fold-out for the CD is that the lyrics are written in a narrative form instead of verse form. The style of the music matches the narrative form. Many artists think and write in verse form, and to create music in narrative form is more difficult because of the difficulty and complexity of matching the syllables and pacing of the narrative to the music. The narrative form is usually the style of story tellers, and each of these songs comes across as a vignette.

The first vignette is "Noah's Dove," which comes across several ways. Noah's dove was the bird he sent out to find dry land. When at last the dove did not return, Noah knew that the dove had found dry land. Thus, the story is about someone seeking something, perhaps the something they will not find because it does not exist, but that person will continue to search, never realizing what they have in the here and now.

The second song, "These Are the Days," relates to the first song because the emphasis of this song is the here and now.
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Format: Audio CD
As a contrarian who remembers the '60's firsthand, albeit as a teenager (I'm 48), I am skeptical about the most of the folk-rock style singer/songwriters of today; their glib commercialism is so transparent. Not 10,000 Maniacs, definitely not this CD. This is a confirmed classic from youngish/mature artists blissfully lacking in cynicism and that tedious irony.
I've listened to Our Time in Eden since it was new, and it is definitely passing the test of time (almost 7 years now).This CD still makes me cry. I can't explain it to my sometimes bitter peers, but if this were vinyl, I would have worn out three copies already. Beautiful, albeit simple, lyrics and melodies. Not deep, but haunting. Like the best folk-rock is supposed to be. Other reviewers have given the highlights, hit them well. Buy it or borrow it. Melts this often contrary heart.
This band broke up too soon, and Natalie solo is just too self-indulgent. But they left this stunning, mature work. In My Tribe is also fine,rocks plenty, but a much younger work.
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