'In My Tribe' is an absolute masterpiece. It's the folkiest of the 10,000 Maniacs' works, which is great, as this effectively means that we're offered a pretty twanging, tinkling backdrop, over which Natalie Merchant's voice is free to swoop about like an impressive bird in an uncluttered sky. Or something.
Anyway, out of all their albums and Natalie's own solo stuff, her voice is never clearer, and her vocal melodies never so effective as 'In My Tribe'. From the meloncholic pop of 'About The Weather' to the elegant rage of songs about child abuse ('What's the matter here?'), alcoholism ('Don't Talk') and the military ('Gun Shy'), it's a gorgeous, powerful album that only flags on the somewhat inadvised 'My Sister Rose'.
As it's so-stripped down it's probably not quite as accessible as the poppy 'Blind Man's Zoo', but ultimately 'In My Tribe' is the greatest thing Natalie Merchant or the 10,000 Maniacs ever did. It's great, and if you're interested enough to read a review of it then you won't regret buying it.