Toad The Wet Sprocket, a fairly popular band in the '90s, just released their first studio album in 16 years, New Constellation. That's a long time. They've seen President Bill Clinton finish his second term, George W. Bush serve twice and Barack Obama in the middle of his second term. That's a lifetime in music -- kids that were born when their last album came out are today's main pop consumers. Will people wind up buying it or will they fade back into something from the past?
Sure, there was the occasional greatest hits or B-side album, but it wasn't the same as hearing brand new music. But here they are again. Maybe they missed the feeling of making new music together. Who knows? It is a big risk on their parts though, given this current circumstances. Like all of us, 16 years has chenged us - Glen Philips, Randy Guss, Todd Nichols and Dean Dinning aren't in their 20s anymore. The maturity should help their music even more.
It's got to be a whole new world for the band. The last time they released an album, Napster was a person who liked to sleep a lot. Now they not only have to vie for CD sales, they also have to deal with digital rights for sites like iTunes, Spotify and others. The worst thing they had to contend with was someone copying their CD and giving it to a friend of thers, not distributing it to millions through torrent seeding. They have also seen America go from a time of enormous prosperity (which sadly was built upon a house of cards) to several recessions that some wonder if it will ever recover from. So...it's a dicey situation, to say the least.
So far, it's garnered good reviews on Amazon and iTunes, but will that be enough to persuade the non-diehards to buy it? It'll be interesting to see how they weather this new world.
I hope they succeed again just because I think any band as cooly named as Toad The Wet Sprocket (a name derived from a sketch on one of Monty Python's 1970s LPs) deserves to succeed, no matter what.