10,000 Maniacs

In My Tribe

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    9
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10,000 Maniacs's breakthrough album and creative high point, In My Tribe offers a survey of social concerns, including child abuse ("What's the Matter Here"), illiteracy ("Cherry Tree"), war ("Gun Shy"), and the environment ("Campfire Song") -- all tackled subtly and tastefully without too much preaching or pretension and in believable, real-life situations. Producer Peter Asher, whose credits include James Taylor and Linda Ronstadt, provides the perfect sheen -- the group's pleasant folk-pop lends itself nicely to the '70s-styled singer/songwriter production. In the end, the album proves powerful not for the ideas (they've been covered before) but rather for the graceful execution and pure listenability. In My Tribe has served as one of the soundtracks for P.C. living and was required listening on college campuses in the late '80s.

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