"I discovered this album during perhaps the darkest period of my life. I had already been a fan of Toad the wet sprocket for several years but was unfamiliar with their early work. I had never heard such intense melodies and chords combined with such deep and penetrating lyrics that seemed to express exactly what I was feeling at the time. I was especially touched by the song "High on a riverbed" whose dark yet beautiful melody and profound lyrics seemed to be speaking right to me and no one else. "I think about" is the other song which really grabbed my heart.But the entire album is nothing short of BRILLIANT! I was even more impressed when I found out how young these guys were when they made this album(They were only 18 year old kids at the time!)
I highly recommend this album to anyone who has ever been through tough times and lived to tell about it. It is one the greatest tragedies of the modern music era that such a talented band like Toad never achieved the commercial success that they so richly deserved yet we are forced to listen to an endless barrage of countless Boy/Girl bands who don't have even half the raw talent that these guys do. Nuff said!"
The power of words
Brian W. Fullford | Jacksonville, FL United States | 12/09/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In the early 90's, on a classic rock stations venture into alternative music, I heard, on this Sunday night, Way Away from Bread and Circus. From that night I was taken with the expression of the human condition that this band spoke of, not only through lyrics, but also through the accompanying music. My fear is that their influence on the music scene was not far reaching enough to keep their legacy in print.This album is a must. It is a dark album, but within the darkness are moments of clarity, as the clouds recede. Nothing is Alone and I Think About are 2 of the more stirring moments, but what I feel is the classic Toad song is High on A Riverbed. This song makes this album worth the money. This is the song that causes you to persevere in light of any circumstance. This is the echo of hope from the canyon walls when it is grief and pain that you have thrown to it. This is a song that all should hear.Pale is the last of what I would call the non-commercial sounding Toad albums. This is not a cut at Toad, I rate all their albums with 5 stars, but the mood on the subsequent albums takes on a more playful and mature sound.Add this to your collection. Add this to your life."
Opened my eyes
J. vanderHagen | Albany, MN USA | 08/21/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Who the he** is Toad the Wet Sprocket? How many times have I heard that question? Ironic, though, that these words, uttered by me as a pimple faced, head-banging, college freshman, were the first words out of my mouth when my then roommate first put this album on back in 1990. Alternative, progressive, folk-rock, whatever you wanted to call it, I wasn't gonna have any of it...at the time. Metal music was where it was at. However, Glen, Todd, Randy and Dean had the power and ability to open my eyes. This album MOVED me. From the opening sounds of Torn and Come Back Down (not to be confused with Come Down from Coil) to the false ending in Jam to She Cried, the album was wonderful. It was the first album outside of the "Metal" genre that I was open to. Once that door is open a crack, it's easy to open it the whole way. One of their better albums."
Ah yes, the long lost treasure
Jeans Yoder | Yoder, KS | 10/24/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"pale speaks purely with the lyrics and not so much w/ the musical aspects which is why i like it so much. although the guitars, drums, etc. still are lovely as w/ any toad album. the lyrics from pale truly stand out as the focal point.as the second work from this band, i'd say they did an excellent job in showing improvement from the first "bread and cicus." pale starts off w/ a bang w/ the infectuous "torn." the song is rather depressing, but let's the listening sort of relate to this feeling. "come back down" starts w/ the same tone as "torn" but shortly picks up later on. it's hard to explain the way this song makes me feel, but it's almost like the somber feeling after you get done crying, but yet at the same time over what you are crying about and ready to move on.the mood shifts slightly w/ "don't go away." sort of a mere plea to tell someone to stay around. almost as if the song is begging to the listening and wants them to keep listening to the rest of the album.probably the saddest song is "high on a riverbed." a man walking in the rain w/ his head down just thinking comes to my mind. as if something terrible just happened and they are trying to walk away from it. very moving song.the next song, "i think about" is my favorite song on the album. the same sad, depressing sound continues in this song. but a ray of hope is noticed in the chorus. i like this song, b/c it gives promise and hopefulness to whoever can relate."corporal brown" is w/o a doubt the strangest song on the album. probably the most playful song, even though the lyrics are really hiddeous. a man gets drunk, hits his fat wife, and kills her then buries her. the man is then worried what will happen to them. although the tone of the song is ironic w/ the words, it's really a mystery what the true meaning of the song is.the single "jam" which might be the only reason someone has heard of this album back in the day before toad really started to make it big, is really a nice song. it has the quality of a single, but unfortunately doesn't rank up w/ their later work. still good.my next favorite song, "chile" is sort of a haunting song. it's sort of like a strike against society. morality vs. the law, and expressing free speech. toad does a good job in expressing their beliefs, and the song sounds beautiful as well."liars everywhere" sounds like it should be on 'fear." it's a short little song, not a lot of lyrics, but it certainly sets the stage for their next album and their next phase in their music."nothing is along" can be considered a song about faith. talks about how no matter what, you will never be alone, and someone is always watching you. very nicely done.the final song, "she cried" is a relief from all the sad songs about how the guys are stood up by the girls. this song is about the girl who can't get the guy. it's reassuring that this occurance happens on both sides. once again, the awesome deep sound is here, making it another classic toad song."pale" may not rank up w/ the commerical success of "fear" or the brilliance of "dulcinea" but it is surely not to be ignored by any toad fan. i must say that the few people who own this record are grateful they can here all the wonderful songs which toad have to share. it is truly a work of art."
Toad in progress
M. Walsh | Eagle Rock, CA | 03/06/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Pale" is a wonderful album, and worth owning, especially if you are any sort of TWS fan. Most fan's introduction to Toad was the album "Fear" (another great work), which is much more polished and cleaner sounding than "Pale." However, "Pale" really gives you insight into where the band came from.Amazing songwriting, a subtle sense of humor, and stories that pull you into their world are all trademarks of TWS, and this album does not lack in any of those areas. It's "Toad" through and through.For the listener who's entire image of the band hinges on the production value and pop sense of "Fear," this album may disappoint. But, great music is great music. Let go of what you think you know about Toad the Wet Sprocket, and listen to this album. Your appreciation of a great band will only grow deeper."