Song of the Day #642: ‘These Are Days’ – 10,000 Maniacs

As this turned into an unofficial theme week about expectations, second impressions and the like, I figured I’d close with an example of a second impression album. That’s a case where you’re already a fan of an artist but you don’t immediately warm to a new release at first, only to return to it down the road and discover that it’s actually quite good.

This is closely related to the situation where you like one album by an artist so much that you can’t bring yourself to make time for a new one. My wife does this all the time. Over the years, when presented with a new album by Josh Rouse, Fiona Apple, John Mayer, Tim McGraw or some other favorite, she might give it a cursory listen but her basic response is “I already have the [artist name here] album I like, why do I need a new one?”

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Song of the Day #124: ‘Noah’s Dove’ – 10,000 Maniacs

10000maniacs10,000 Maniacs is one of those bands that really defines the sound of my teen years. R.E.M. is another, and I’ve always connected the two because of the distinctive voices of lead singers Natalie Merchant and Michael Stipe.

In My Tribe is a stellar album that throws me right back into a very specific time and place… in this case, 1988 in Fairfax County, Virginia, when my sister was introduced to this band by a co-worker and played it that whole summer.

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