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The Who - Who's Next CD (album) cover

WHO'S NEXT

The Who

 

Proto-Prog

4.37 | 393 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Shakespeare
2 stars The Who, considered primarily as a classic rock band, have always had a slight progressive leaning. On Who's Next, their supposed masterpiece, they managed to combine some progressive elements with some good ol' rock. Sometimes exciting, sometimes nearing experimental, but chiefly fun, Who's Next is one of, if not the greatest Who album.

The radio hit Baba O'Riley, or "Teenaged Wasteland", depending on how accurate your radio station is, has been thrown in movies, plastered on TV show intros, pasted in TV commercials, et cetera. Yet, it still manages to capture an energetic, slightly naive and trivial, fun feel, and combines it with great ideas like a violin solo, and some pulsing synth.

After its powerful opening, I find the album drops a little in terms of excitement, interest, and originality. They put on their classic rock hats, and play some not too complex or sophisticated fun rock. It's not a bad thing to have some simple music, in fact, it is most often refreshing. However, if the melodies/riffs, lyrics, and playing does not hold up, then it seems simply a waste of time. The Who is comprised of near-virtuosos, and so playing is always excellent on the simpler moments, but there are no memorable riffs, no lingering melodies, not poetic words, simply: not much to engage my interest for long.

Luckily, the album redeems itself with the excellent Behind Blue Eyes, which has great lyrics, memorable compositions, and intense playing. Happily, the album ends with an even higher note, with the altogether exhilarating Won't Get Fooled Again. It combines the fun and simple style of The Who's music, with a more sophisticated and intricate edge. Overall, the album is a classic classic rock album, but only a decent prog album. In short, do not be expecting an album full of epic, complex, progressive songs. Do not be expecting an album with a dynamic musical storyline. Just a collection of decent songs.

Shakespeare | 2/5 |

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