11 Songs, 45 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

As a sign of changing record-industry economics, the ‘90s alternative band Toad the Wet Sprocket had fans primarily fund New Constellation, its first album of new material in 16 years. The band never had the hard breakup of other groups, often playing informally or for small tours throughout the years. Sprocket leader Glen Phillips even used his solo career to open for his own band. New Constellation is exactly what the Santa Barbara, Calif.–based college rockers have always been about: smart, melodic, low-key tunes with a truthful emotionalism (the six-minute album closer “Enough”) that never grandstands or dares a false move. Todd Nichols adds his tasteful jangling guitars to the tunes, and tracks like “New Constellation,” “California Wasted," and “Life Is Beautiful” ring with a confidence that comes with 20 years of friendship and fortysomething years of living.

EDITORS’ NOTES

As a sign of changing record-industry economics, the ‘90s alternative band Toad the Wet Sprocket had fans primarily fund New Constellation, its first album of new material in 16 years. The band never had the hard breakup of other groups, often playing informally or for small tours throughout the years. Sprocket leader Glen Phillips even used his solo career to open for his own band. New Constellation is exactly what the Santa Barbara, Calif.–based college rockers have always been about: smart, melodic, low-key tunes with a truthful emotionalism (the six-minute album closer “Enough”) that never grandstands or dares a false move. Todd Nichols adds his tasteful jangling guitars to the tunes, and tracks like “New Constellation,” “California Wasted," and “Life Is Beautiful” ring with a confidence that comes with 20 years of friendship and fortysomething years of living.

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