So the gist of the latest 10,000 Maniacs album that I got was "first album in years" and "reunion." What was not clearly stated in what I saw summarized was "Natalie Merchant is still not back after 21 years, and she ain't walking back through that door anytime soon."
Therefore, this is more folk-rock with a Natalie Merchant sound-like vocalist, rather than alt-rock with Natalie Merchant. And it's okay. But that's all.
Then the unthinkable happens: male lead vocals. Bail.
CD Placement rating: I am so full of rage I can barely see through the red to type this. Who knows if it's any good, I will never listen to it ever again. Pile of Death, you Natalie Merchant-less hippies.