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Album Review

From the platform of success built by Fear, Toad the Wet Sprocket dove head first into their fourth release, Dulcinea. Without changing the formula too much, they conjured up 12 more hooks, stretching them ever so slightly to make the alternative tunes a bit edgier and the mellow ones a little folkier, and scoring a couple of modest hits along the way with "Something's Always Wrong" and "Fall Down." One of the thematic threads of Toad's music has always been a certain spirituality, a sense of awe and wonder in regard to life and death. Dulcinea exploits and explores that theme with reverence and humility, going so far as to close the album with "Reincarnation Song," a delicate examination of a soul's transition shrouded musically by a veil of electric guitar feedback. Counteracting that heaviness with an offbeat, country-tinged ditty about the pros of Nanci Griffith versus Loretta Lynn is pure Toad, never being pinned into a stylistic corner. One of the best songs on this album, and perhaps their entire catalog, is "Windmills," a moody look at the fragility and futility of existence that will cause not only the exquisite melody to linger with you, but contemplations of your own purpose in life. Framed by the flawless production of Gavin MacKillop, every song on this record creates a world of its own that is impossible not to be drawn into.

Customer Reviews


I just adore this album. I was looking for new music in my parents' old CD collection (I'm 17 and I'm a big fan of any kind of music that delights thine eardrums from Pavement to U2, almost anything) SO I knew nothing about this abnd except that they had a really cool and funny name and the album artwork looked pretty cool. I put the thing on my ipod and left it alone for like 2 months then I thought "I think I finally listen to this" And Gd, I am glad I did. This music is amazing, the guitars the songwriting, the voice all of it. My fave sonbg is Something's always wrong followed by Stupid, Windmills, Listen, Fall Down, and Fly from Heaven. Great album, awesome sound. I showed this to my firends and they all love it. Go TOAD!

Undiscovered Classic

Every time I listen to this album from start to finish I hope that one day the rock critics will re-discover it, a-la "Pet Sounds". It's that good, probably one of the 5 best albums of the 90's. Toad hit some perfect creative instant on Dulcinea, somewhere between the underproduction and ether of Fear and Pale, but not yet at the studio-perfected earthiness of Coil. The songs are all pretty contemplative, it's not necessarily a feel good record ("Nanci" excepted), but they are at the same time hopeful, almost angry or begging for a reason to believe in something. Released under a radar full of grunge, every song on Dulcinea is singularly written, both musically and lyrically, but they fit together in an intentioned way that makes you think Toad thought really hard about the order here. If you don't own this album, buy it. It probably inspired one of the artists you listen to now, though they'd never think of it if asked about their favorite bands. Regardless, it is one of the most beautiful things I have ever heard.

A Classic!!!

I first heard of Toad when my sister would play "fear". I stole that cassette and never gave it back, played the tape until it broke, then bought the CD. I ultimately became a bigger fan of the band than she had been. This seems to always be the album that I come back to when picking a Toad album to listen to. There are so many different moods to it, and the songwriting on this record is nothing short of phenomenal! It is very well executed and Glen Phillps's voice just gets me every single time on the song "Windmills" (hands-down my favorite Toad song...EVER!) Standout tracks: Something's Always Wrong, Crowing, Fly From Heaven, Fall Down, Windmills


Formed: 1986 in Santa Barbara, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Named in honor of a sketch by the Monty Python comedy troupe, Toad the Wet Sprocket became one of the most successful alternative rock bands of the early '90s, boasting a contemporary folk-pop sound that wielded enough melody and R.E.M.-styled jangle to straddle both the modern rock and adult contemporary markets. Singer Glen Phillips, guitarist Todd Nichols, bassist Dean Dinning (the nephew of '50s hitmaker Mark "Teen Angel" Dinning), and drummer Randy Guss formed the group in 1986 in their native...
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