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New Constellation

4.7 out of 5 stars 170 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 15, 2013
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Editorial Reviews

Toad the Wet Sprocket returns with a new studio album, NEW CONSTELLATION, their first in 16 years, with eleven brand new songs and including the single "New Constellation".
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 15, 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Abe's Records
  • ASIN: B00ELE8EW2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (170 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,170 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Donald McClure on October 15, 2013
Format: Audio CD
I have been a fan of Toad since the early 90's when a friend lent me Pale and I fell in love. It felt like "my" music. It fit perfectly with the late teen angst and sadness that I was experiencing at the time. I bought Bread and Circus shortly after, and then Fear and Dulcinea the day their releases during my College years. Such amazing music to grow up with. Coil came around when I lived in NYC and helped me get through the long subway rides to work, and deal with the loss of a relationship. This music has been such a huge part of my life, mirroring moments... narrating milestones... soothing wounds... encouraging healing. School. Work. Life. Toad's music has been a part of me since that day I first heard Pale. When they disbanded in the late 90's I tried to fill the hole by following Glen's prolific solo work, and spinning the 2 Lapdog Cd's over and over again. I'd go watch Glen live at Largo, and catch them all together on the summer reunion tours.

Listening to New Constellation makes it feel like they never stopped making music together. It's very different from where they left off - more mature - more dynamic. But, it almost feels like there are 4 or 5 albums between Coil and the new disc that we will never get to hear. They've grown. We've grown. But, it still fits. Like comfy shoes. (Or in Glen's case - no shoes)

I've had the new music since the Kickstarter download codes were released earlier this year. Since the moment the download was complete I have been creating new memories with Toad. It gets better with each listen. I'm so happy to have them back.

Highlights for me are:
California Wasted - I'm a West Coast boy, and this song is already a classic Toad song for me.
Rare Bird - The crescendo of "You better be flying high" is chill inducing.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
It's a remarkable thing that a little Santa Barbara band of un-rock stars could come together some 25 years ago and craft a musical tapestry as rooted in longing as it was redemption; in the process building an unshakeable foundation of truly devoted fans who would willingly follow Glen and Company to whatever end they would choose. And end they did. 1997's 'Coil' marked not only the end to the brilliant but brief career of Toad, but felt like we had closed a chapter on the 90's musical revolution. All of a sudden we had grown up, and it didn't feel right at all. Though we followed both Glen and Lapdog as they went completely unnoticed by the outside world, the Toad faithful longed for the day when these four men would realize that together they were greater than the sum of their parts.

And so we have 'New Constellation,' an album that owes as much to the Toad of the 90's as it does to the decade and a half that Glen, Todd, Dean & Randy spent (somewhat) apart. From Glen's declaration that he will "declare his love to all creation" on the title track, to the fractured, barely sung admission of 'We're Missing Time/We killed the night" on 'Enough,' many of the sonic dimensions Toad explored in the 90's can be found on this record. Stylistically, 'New Constellation' truly is a revelation in reflection. Glen's voice is as confessional and accessible as it's ever been, particularly on 'Golden Age' when he laments: "All we are is vanity/ Comics playing tragedy/ I traded in my sanity/ For a dream that soon abandoned me." Strings and a piano swirl in the background as we are taken to some half-dreamed of destination lying between 'Fear' and 'Abulum.' Not such a bad place to be at all.
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Format: Audio CD
Absolutley LOVE the album. The guys sound better than ever. Every track is enjoyable. It plays like a 'best of' even though the songs are new! I dropped one star because of the packaging, which has the unprotected disc in a cardboard sleeve. I can't believe this is becoming the norm these days. If this was done with a vinyl album, people wouldn't stand for it, yet CDs which can easily scratch and become difficult or impossible to play are constantly being released like this.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
We've gone way too long without new Toad material. Love Glen Phillips' solo stuff, but there's something magical about this group of players. Their sound has matured, but is unmistakably still Toad The Wet Sprocket. Can't wait for their tour in support of this album. Not a single bad track on this release, should be taken in as a body of work and enjoyed for the maturity, depth and emotion of their inimitable sound.
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Format: Audio CD
Toad the Wet Sprocket has aged since 1997's 'Coil' unspiraled an uneven mix of tunage into our post-grunge brains. Following the flawless diamond that is 'Dulcinea', 'Coil' holds a special place in my heart, as the last album from what ranks in my Top Five favorite musical acts ever. It also contains two of my favorite songs from Toad, the terrifically sad but demanding "Don't Fade" and the most political I think our boys ever got with "Crazy Life" and Todd Nichols's earnest vocals.

Sixteen years is a long time to wait for new material from any band, but 'New Constellation' was worth the wait. Our boys are decidedly men now, and their words are those of fathers, sons of elder parents, longtime friends, and longtime lovers. Because of this, I think they tend toward the mundane in their lyrics. I was annoyed at first, but Glen Phillips sings with such feeling and assurance, it's easy to forgive sentiment we've heard before, more than a few times. "The Moment" proclaims:

"For every path you follow, there's another left behind; every door you don't kick open, there's a million more to try; for everything you taught me, here's the one I learned the best; there is nothing but the moment, don't you waste it on regret."

But "The Moment" in particular indicates Toad's greatest strength, which is still their unerring ability to write catchy, memorable melodies. The band's sound has softened since the feedback and raw electric guitar that punctuated their 90s outings. What hasn't softened is how well the boys--sorry, men--craft their songs. "Rare Bird" is light and ethereal, as its name and words suggest, and "I'll Bet on You" bares the true mark of Toad, being the track which perhaps more than the rest sounds like the band of yore.
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