Most bands proclaim themselves friends at the end of their run only to never speak directly to one another again, all future correspondence consisting of name-calling in the press. Not Toad The Wet Sprocket. Their breakup has to be the most genteel of all time, which can't be a great shock giving their image and music. Oh, I'm sure angry words have been exchanged and feelings were hurt but the Gallagher brothers shed more bled and utter more obscenities before breakfast on a Tuesday than our friends in Toad will in a lifetime.
Toad took time away and did other things. Glen Phillips launched a solo career and worked on several side projects. Todd Nichols briefly started up his own band, Lapdog, that at different times involved former Toad bandmates Dean Dinning and Randy Guss. During the time apart, they'd get together for the occasional one-off appearance together and that led eventually to several longer reunion tours. All that was left was a new record, which they've now made. Sort of.
They plan on releasing their first album of new music since their 1997 swan song Coil soon but in the meantime there is All You Want, a re-recording of 11 of their best-known songs.
Glen Phillips' voice is still in amazing shape these many years later and he's grown as a singer. The harmony machine of Nichols and Dinning is also well oiled. The biggest knock on All You Want is just how much Toad still sounds like Toad. All You Want is superfluous if you still own fear, Dulcinea, Coil, and the rarities collection In Light Syrup. You have these songs and the versions here don't differ greatly from the ones you already have.
That said, there are differences. All You Want sounds like a live-in-studio album with spare arrangements. These recordings don't bear the obvious sound of massive tinkering and countless overdubs. This is a lean, professional sounding overview of TTWS' career, and that might be enough for those who have followed the band in the decade since their hiatus.
All You Want is Toad The Wet Sprocket covering Toad The Wet Sprocket songs and unlike some of the summer reunion tours baby boomers will pay top dollar to see, this features the original quartet and they still sound like the same band. If you loved them before, you can't help but love them now.