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


The Who



4.42 | 623 ratings

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3 stars Who's Next? Why, it is a great album, that is who's next.

The Who discard and warp their roots in a way that makes them viable for a masterpiece. Not that they reach it with this album, but my word, what growth! The hooks are stronger, the songs have more personality, and they are all more evolved as a band.

And the lyrics are actually better! I have certainly heard worse. Baba O'Riley is great organ rock. The melodies are finely tuned, and that keyboard introduction is fairly memorable. It still meanders somewhat, but the quality of craft is miles ahead of anything they've done before. That violin solo is absolutely fun!

Bargain is full force rock, and is in thumping overdrive. The vocals are more powerful, as is the whole band. Rekindling the trite rawness from their debut, but mixing it with their pop polish, and actually taking care to write with more compositional consideration. Again, the song wanders aimlessly some, but not in a horribly offensive way. This is good, too. The acoustic groove, on top of emotional vocals. This almost screams heartland rock, and is a testament to the diversity of the record. My Wife dips down some, because it is boring in a way. At least the rhythm section always seems occupied. The vocals are garbage, and a large drop in quality. And they were doing so well...

The Song Is Over has some progressive leanings, and true, this album marks even more exploration of sound and music by them. Pleasingly pretty. It contains some warm melody lines, and isn't filler. But, it still doesn't strike me as amazing. It does rock hard, but doesn't rewrite any rules. Getting In Tune picks up the game and has some absolutely glorious melodies, even if the lyrics blow hard.

Going Mobile is another letdown, and it is all because of the shockingly bad vocals. Who let this happen? Why must they drop the ball every time they get so much solid momentum going? It isn't as if the song is an abject failure, especially when that great guitar solo rips in. I like the distortion used. It redeems the song, actually. Behind Blue Eyes is next, and is an album highlight. That vocal introduction is surprising in its prettiness. The lyrics are resonant, and actually good. And god damn it, these melodies are grand. One of the factors in making this a very good album. The most beautiful moment on the album, by far. The arena solo and power section is tolerable, and it cuts out so fine into their radio classic...

Won't Get Fooled Again. Yeah, this is possibly The Who's most prominent radio selection, and for understandable reason. It is a fun rock song. The melodies are great, and the guitars flash hard. I have some problems with the vocals, but they are fine for the most part. Some might say this is a stronger song than Behind Blue Eyes, I say nay! The lyrics are weaker, the melodies aren't as timeless, and the solo, you know what I am talking about. It just isn't needed. It doesn't flare, it doesn't tap into emotion. It is just there, and feels so unnecessary. Still a great song, though. And that "YEAH!" is visceral. A great end to a memorable and definitely good album.

So The Who get their act together and pay attention to songwriting, the lyrics are improved, and everything seems to have been taken up a notch. The guitars are harder, and it all screams strong and memorable. Still, the lyrics are mediocre, and some melodies just aren't good. Nor do all of the vocals succeed.

Best Song - Behind Blue Eyes

Worst Song - My Wife

*** Very Strong Stars

Alitare | 3/5 |


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