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Love Among the Ruins Import

3.9 out of 5 stars 50 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, June 17, 1997
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

10,000 Maniacs' new album, produced by John Keane (R.E.M., Cowboy Junkies, Indigo Girls) and Fred Maher (Lou Reed, Lloyd Cole), marks the debut of singer Mary Ramsey, who previously played viola and violin and sang backup for the band both on recordings and on tour. Guitarist John Lombardo, founding member of the band, also returns. The Maniacs' recent performances have sparked an enthusiastic press response. First single/video from Love Among the Ruins: "More Than This" to AAA and Top 40 formats.

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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)
  • Imported ed. edition
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Geffen UK
  • ASIN: B000000OVT
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #186,730 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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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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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
I miss the 1990's. Pre-911, when there was a shred of innocence left in the world. Lady Mary Ramsey continues to show her vocal and violin talents on this heavily-1990's influence album, and better yet--off the beaten track. More non-commercial and original than many musical groups out of the 1990's, very upbeat, vibrant, and encouraging. The title song "Love Among the Ruins" is my favorite, second only to "Rainy Day," a catchy tune with very agreeable melodies and tempo. Very good album, a solid piece for your musical library.
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