YMMV / 10,000 Maniacs

  • Anvilicious: One reason why the band never became more popular is that Natalie Merchant's lyrics were this quite often, as was her somewhat schoolmistressy demeanour at live gigs. She once solemnly informed the gallery at a late 80s London gig not to crane too far forward to see her because once in the 19th century people had fallen out of the gallery doing that, implicitly suggesting that the venue had learned absolutely nothing in the intervening 100 years about audience safety.
  • Awesome Music: The studio version of "Poison in the Well" was a bit tame, but played live it used to get genuinely (righteously) angry and exciting. Likewise, "Stockton Gala Days" live was exhilarating, as captured on their MTV Unplugged special.
  • Captain Obvious Aesop: "Poison in the Well" tells us that pollution is bad. "Candy Everybody Wants" tells us that commercial TV networks try to broadcast programs that are popular as opposed to programs that are unpopular. "What's the Matter Here" tells us that striking your kids is bad. "Don't Talk" tells us that excessive drinking is bad.
  • Covered Up: "Because the Night," originally by Patti Smith, especially for those too young to remember the original.
    • "More Than This" (from the Mary Ramsey era) may be this for those unfamiliar with Roxy Musicnote .
  • Ear Worm: Nearly all of their songs.
  • Face of the Band: Natalie Merchant appeared by herself in most of the band's music videos.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: Toward the band's albums without Merchant.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks: From Chris Woodstra's review of Blind Man's Zoo in All Music Guide:
    After the success of In My Tribe, it would be expected that hordes of bands would take a stab at the market with their own second-rate versions of the album — it's disappointing that 10,000 Maniacs would be one of them, churning out not only In My Tribe, Pt. 2, but an inferior copy at that.
  • Les Yay: "Stockton Gala Days" is positively moist with it.
  • Narm: The need to rhyme sometimes lured Merchant in this direction. From "What's the Matter Here", there's her curiously euphemistic rendition of an angry parent's threats: "Threats like / 'If you don't mind / I will beat on your behind / Slap you, slap you silly'".
  • Signature Song: "These Are Days".
  • Tough Act to Follow: Blind Man's Zoo suffered from this after the success of In My Tribe.