"This CD is unusual for Toad largely because of the dearth of ballads, a staple of past Toad efforts. Only "Don't Fade" and "All Things in Time" would adequately fit that description on this album.The main characteristic that strikes the listener is the depth of lyricism. Glen Phillips really reveals the depths of his talent in these songs about such wide-ranging topics as mysticism ("Little Buddha"), the plight of American Indians ("Crazy Life"), and materialism ("Throw It All Away"). There is also one really gritty rocker on this album, "Desire," which is the most physical song Toad ever wrote. "Rings" is an extremely intriguing song, because it's written from the point of view of a tree, a device that is also employed for the first time (and unfortunately the last) here. All in all, this is probably Toad's most ambitious album. "Whatever I Fear" tackles self-doubt and self-loathing with an almost unforgiving cynicism, "Dam Would Break" addresses repressed memories and dirty secrets, and "Crazy Life" employs both 19th century ("Over Pine Ridge to Wounded Knee") and 20th century ("What have you done with Peltier?") allusions to attack, albeit subtly, the Americans' treatment of Indians. Another socially conscientious track is "Amnesia," about as close to rage as Toad ever got. The song attacks prejudice, ignorance, and genocide, specifically the Holocaust, and by extension, current examples of "amnesia in comfort" like the oppression of immmigrants and human rights violations in foreign countries. "Little Buddha" is also remarkably ambitious, and is also experimental, with its use of strings, nonstandard melody, irony ("Life is suffering, tee hee ha ha") and the almost Pinteresque gibberish of some of the lines. This song reflects a disappointment for me because it would have been cool to see Toad reach farther in directions like this, but that won't happen now. Anyway, the other socially relevant song happens to be my favorite song on this album: "Little Man Big Man," a warning against aggression, hegemony, and proliferation, and an encapsulation of international politics. This album is exceptional and shows great variety making it well worth purchasing."
A smashing finale!
roadtripper | Vancouver Canada | 12/09/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The final original album before Toad split up, Coil is a beautiful listen.While "Come Down" and "Whatever I Fear" are the justifiable early hits off this CD, the hypnotic "Crazy Life", the dreamy "All Things In Time", and the idealistic "Throw It All Away" are all solid gems in the Toad tradition.Listen to Coil, and pay tribute to a band that was destined for even better things..."
A Very Poetic Dark Struggle
J. Miller | Earth | 03/29/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"While this was Toad's last album it suggests that it could be the end of Glen Phillips' life: it was not. What it did end was a tremendous pop-rock/alternative-rock career. They will certainly be remembered.
1. Starting at the top, the album led-off with the song "Whatever I Fear". The music to the song is very similar to the forth track "Dam Would Break". With regard to that, if you look at the album as a whole it becomes a necessary redundancy. That redundancy actually helps represent that head-spinning mind mess that is being represented on the album. Plus, when it is announced that he fears anything before him thus begins the dark struggle.
2. Yes, "Come Down" was a hit, but get past that. There is much more going on here than that. It sounds positive but the lyrics reflect desire and death is touched upon. There is some good guitar mini-solos and the vocals vary enough in emphasis to pull you right in.
3. "Rings" uses imagery that is hard to figure out and difficult to explain without reading. Basically, lines of the song mention rings of various ideas.
4. "Dam Would Break" sounds a lot like "Whatever I Fear". This time he talks about what could push him over the edge or break him rather than how he is afraid of the future. Some kind of nonword vocal addition like "ladalo" or something that was used adds to the mood and effects of the song.
5. The song "desire" seems like it would fit with the gloomy suicidal theme better than it does. It actually turns out that it is more a song about desire in general--although it is still described as a negative thing. The music gets more aggressive on this song.
6. The music alone in "Don't Fade" places the song right where it belongs--on this album. As for the lyrics, these lyrics suggest that somebody else is struggling. Although, "I need to know that someone still believes" can mean a lot of things. Is this song religous or personal?--You decide.
7. "Little Man Big Man" hardly fits the theme that most of this disc carries. The only strange or creepy lyric here is the "where is the beast..." lyric. This song is about personal worth and importance.
8. "Throw It All Away" seems to be about letting out frustration. Unless you want to take the song literally. Then, it is about destroying the personal possessions that consume your life and looking to fill the emotional voids in your life. This song is one of the quieter, mellower songs on the album even though it is slightly upbeat and optomistic.
9. "Amnesia" the name speaks volumes about the lyrical content of the song. The music is a bit more challenging to guess by the name. They went with an aggressive head-spinning type of song. This is by far the loudest song on the album and possibly the loudest song they have. It reflects amnesia as a dark gift.
10. "Little Buddha" would make sense without the chosen shorus lyrics. The "smile on, little buddha" stuff confuses what exactly is going on here and at the same time adds depth to the song as a whole and its meaning. This song is another rather mellow selection.
11. The song "Crazy Life" should probably switch spots with "Desire" on this disc. Did I mention that this is most certainly a concept album? This song exibits positive outlook while still mentioning the end. This song is a good reflection of how most of the ups and downs on this cd occur simultaneous. The guitar on this track is amazing, from the outstanding intro on throughout.
12. "All Things in Time" is slow and mellow. It is one of the more upbeat lyrical selections on the disc. The music still fits with the mood of the album and the specifics of what is going on here. It has an "all things will be alright" feeling to it but it hardly explains how and the other songs on the album make this feeling difficult to believe. It seems to work though because not knowing if things will be fine seems to be the point of the disc.
All in all it comes together into one piece. I find this album to be a must have, but listen to the clips if you think they will help.
Toad Gives Us Their Last Album, A Great Piece of Work Indeed
KCZorroDeFuego | East Berne, NY USA | 12/16/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Having long since been a toad fan (since "All I Want" first hit the radio), I enjoyed their music but did not purchase any till recently, picking up In Light Syrup and this, their very last (excepting P.S., of course). Moving, sweet, and sensitive, and even when Toad breaks from formula, it is interesting rather than a jarring misstep. And the heartbreakingly sweet "Silo Lullaby" [found as a .mov file on the CD or normally on P.S.] is the perfect goodbye for a band that deserves every bit of praise it gets. From "Whatever I Fear" to "Dam Would Break" to "Little Man Big Man" (the best 3) and many others, this is an album that yes, some minor flaws, but still, one to treasure."
If this isn't their best, I'd love to hear more
KCZorroDeFuego | 02/26/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I haven't heard enough of Toad's previous works to know how Coil compares to earlier disks, but I've heard that this isn't their best. If that's true, I really need to hear their other ones because I think Coil is fabulous. It has meaningful lyrics and outstanding vocals. The music isn't so loud that it drowns out the words and its more than just a bunch of guitar riffs thrown into a sequence. That's not to say that the guitar is bad, because its very good and compliments the vocals well. The whole disk is excellent but the songs that particularly stand out to me are "Whatever I Fear," "Come Down," "All Things in Time," "Throw it all Away," and my new favorite song "Little Man Big Man." Toad knows how to write a song that means something. There's none of the sex, drugs, and offensive language that dominate rock music today. I can't wait to hear some of Toad's earlier albums and it's a shame they broke up."