Back in 1995 a friend of mine returned from America after a year out studying across there. He brought back with him music that we here in the UK had up until that point not really been exposed to. Among those records were Dave Matthews Band's 'Under The Table And Dreaming', Blues Traveler's 'Four', and this album by Toad The Wet Sprocket.
Needless to say I was instantly hooked.
From what I've gathered over the intervening years, Toad tended to attract admiration and derision in equal measure over the course of their career - you either loved 'em or hated 'em. The naysayers tended to write them off as pretentious frat-rockers aimed directly at college students. I think this viewpoint does them a serious injustice, because in my opinion they were really good songwriters who had well and truly reached the height of their powers by 1994.
With an ear for a good tune and some killer lyrics Dulcinea delivered instant classics in the form of 'Something's Always Wrong', 'Stupid', 'Crowing', 'Windmills', and 'Nanci'. Only by track ten do things start to fall away a little with the rather forgettable tracks 'Inside' and 'Begin'. 'Reincarnation Song' also ends the album on a bit a damp squib in contrast to brilliant opener 'Fly From Heaven'. But this minor criticism aside, 'Dulcinea' is an album that will remain in your record collection for a long time and demand repeated listens.
Whether you're already a Toad fan, or entirely new to the band, and don't own this album - buy it! Well worth the five stars...