PERFORMER: 10,000 MANIACS
ALBUM: OUR TIME IN EDEN
THE BOTTOM LINE: Sandblasted lyricism and a new rhythmic restlessness carry this band to its best album yet.
Careful: you are about to be disoriented. Consider, first, the music of 10,000 Maniacs, which is spectral and delicate without a moment of fragility. Then think about the lyrics, which insinuate themselves into the subconscious like a waking dream. And finally, ponder lead singer, key writer and prime mover Natalie Merchant, whose earthbound strength sets up a fascinating friction with the impregnable magic of the music. She's a private writer in a public...