All it takes is 3 chords and a dream!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Toad The Wet Sprocket - All You Want

Toad The Wet Sprocket - All You Want
2011, Abe’s Records

Grunge was the buzz word of the 1990's, but great pop/rock music didn't disappear entirely from the airwaves.  Toad The Wet Sprocket was one of those bands keeping great songwriting alive while the rest of the country wore their angst on their collective sleeves.  With hits such as "Walk On The Ocean", "Fall Down", "Something's Always Wrong" and "Good Intentions", Toad The Wet Sprocket managed to quietly carve out a place for themselves on college and commercial airwaves throughout the US.  The band broke up in 1998, but performed together occasionally over the years.  In 2009, Toad The Wet Sprocket became an active project once again.  Unfortunately all of their song rights were recorded by the evil empire, also known as "The Labels".  The solution?  All You Want, a collection of updated recordings eleven of Toad The Wet Sprocket's finest songs.

Such recordings are often met with skepticism by fans, but offer some real opportunities for the artists to, A.) gain control of recordings of some of their songs, and,  2.) update familiar songs with their current vision for each.  All You Want accomplishes both objectives quiet well.  Toad The Wet Sprocket in 2011 has a more organic sound than you'll find on their classic albums Duclinea, Pale and Fear.  The songs haven't changed significant, but the pure pop sheen of the 1990's has been stripped away, leaving their wonderfully well-written songs with more of a live-band feel.  Glen Phillips' voice is as easy-going and as pleasant to listen to as always.  The bands' hits are as solid as ever, with the Americana-rock arrangement of "Brother" standing out in addition to the closer "I Will Not Take These Things For Granted".

All You Want allows Toad The Wet Sprocket (named from the Monty Python "Rock Notes" sketch) to make a living off their own material in licensing deals, but also shows a band working at or near the same level of artistry and finesse as they displayed during their mid-1990's heyday.  A new album of original material is in the works as well, but for now, All You Want is more than enough to keep long time fans happy, while appealing to a new generation of fans.

Rating: 4 Stars (Out of 5)

Learn more about Toad The Wet Sprocket at or  For the time being, All You Want is only available from or at their live shows as a CD or Download.  A formal release to retail will occur in the Spring of 2012.

No comments: