By Tom Lanham
Updated May 21, 1999 at 04:00 AM EDT

Try as she might, singer Mary Ramsey never approaches the casual folk-friendly grace of predecessor Natalie Merchant in the earth pressed flat, relying instead on prissy diction and breathy underpinnings. Guitarists Robert Buck and John Lombardo may chime mightily, but Miss Manners torpedoes them every time. C-