"I think Fear is probably the most complex of Toad's albums, and with the most variety of moods. If Toad is indeed the thinking man's band, then this album is a quintessential piece of work. You've got beauty in songs like Walk on the Ocean, a rather paradoxical simplistic diversity in "Butterflies"--a unique and unusual musical setup coupled with the contrastingly uncomplex central concept of the song--childish wonder in "Is it For Me", raw anger in "Hold Her Down", human yearning in "All I want", wit in "Something to Say", wistful appreciation in "I Will Not Take These Things For Granted"...Glen Phillips' lyrics are characteristically haunting, and musically speaking, the depth of the band is incredible. If you're a Toadfan, I'm surprised you don't have this, but if you're just getting into them or even have no idea who they are, buy it. I guarantee you will be completely blown away...."
Classic listening from a terribly underappreciated band
"During the course of their ten year career in the music business, Toad the Wet Sprocket quitely made some of the best and most listenable tunes this side of U2 or REM. In many ways, it is not surprising this great band or this great album was overshadowed by other efforts from that same year (1991) that included Pearl Jam's "Ten", U2's "Achtung Baby", Nirvana's "Nevermind", and Red Hot Chili Peppers "Blood Sugar Sex Magik", as it lacked the sense of urgency or "newness" of these and many other huge recordings of the 1990's. This is really a shame because this album boasts 12 great tunes, some of which gained moderate exposure ("All I Want", "Walk on the Ocean") but deserved so much more. The point however, was that Toad was not a single band, but they made albums in which every song counted, and every song resonated with a immense sense of earnestness and sincerity which really comes through. One listen through "Fear" makes this apparent, but many more listens are sure to follow. Put simply, the album is incredibly well-thought out and listenable, with not a dull moment from start to end. It is excellent for long drives in the car, background music when doing work or the dishes, or any other setting. While some music in your collection may be considered "mood music," Toad the Wet Sprocket's album "Fear" can be listened to at any time and in any mood with the result being immensely satisfying nevertheless. Great music for any mood, "Fear" is a hidden treasure begging to be discovered."
A superb collection of music
Sapna Kanoor | 09/19/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This album (and all of Toad's) are even more important in my CD collection since Toad's breakup. This CD finally saw Toad come into their own as a talented modern rock band.All of these songs are good, with only "In My Ear" being a slight disappointment. On most other albums, it would be good, but compared to the others, it has its shortcomings. The album opens with the single "Walk on the Ocean," an uplifting if reserved look at moving on in life. "Nightingale Song" is unassuming and unambitious, but nonetheless is one of the best songs here. "Pray Your Gods" is one of the most inherently gorgeous rock songs ever, with the haunting female vocal at the end as a perfect resolution. "I Will Not Take These Things for Granted" is a triumph of lyricism, with numerous images of separation and tranquility describing the feeling of being away from someone you care deeply about. "Stories I Tell" has a great bass line throughout, which heightens the alienation expressed in the lyrics. "All I Want" is a superb work of songcraft, from the opening drum line, to the great guitar work, and superb vocals and lyrics throughout. The best facet of the album, especially compared to earlier ones, is the introduction of an edgier sound, though maintaining the band's great sense of melody. "Hold Her Down" is a great example, with its driving guitar and bass and angry lyrics. The band changes tempo in the song, too, which produces a great effect. Perhaps the most striking song, though, is "Butterflies," with its use of spoken word, hard-driven drums, chantlike verses, and then dissolving into gorgeous three-part counterpoint harmony in the refrains. The complexity of the songs adds much to this CD. I would recommend it to anyone."
roadtripper | Vancouver Canada | 12/10/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the CD that rocketed Toad to superstardom, and it's easy to see why."Walk on the Ocean" is arguably one of the most beautiful openings to any album, lyrical and soaring. By the time you've gone through all twelve tracks, you've gone through a gamut of vivid emotions, from the fun energy of "Is It for Me?" to the angry hell-with-it-all slammer "Hold Her Down", from the wonderfully dreamy "Pray Your Gods" to the hear-me-now existential angst of "Stories I Tell". And it all finishes with the introspective "I Will Not Take These Things For Granted".A great CD from a great band. Farewell Toad!"