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The Who - Who Are You CD (album) cover

WHO ARE YOU

The Who

 

Proto-Prog

3.31 | 208 ratings

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Ludjak
2 stars Built on the remains of what was planned to be another attempt at realising the Lifehouse project, Who Are You is an interesting album (which, as I will point out, is not necesssarily a good thing).

"New Song", the album's opener, is a standard Who rock tune which gets a bit repetitive after a while, but still holds an enjoyble middle section. It is followed by two Entwistle- penned tunes, most probably his contributions to the 'revived' Lifehouse, "Had Enough" and "905". While the former is a very good tune reminiscent of the band's sound on Quadrophenia, the latter, with the same synth sample as on an older Lifehouse-related single ("Relay"), is nothing but a filler. Next is "Sister Disco", propelled by frantic synths and with a sinister obituary to the dreaded music genre of the Seventies. It flows really nice into "Music Must Change", my favourite track off the album, which again summons the musical moods of Quadrophenia. "Trick Of The Light" appears to be the only song not related to Lifehouse and it's a decent (but again repetitive) hard rock tune with typical Entwistle's lyrics and some impressive 8-string bass sounds. "Guitar and Pen", although one of the most 'prog' songs Pete Townshed ever wrote, doesn't do much for me (maybe it'd have more of an impact if put in a context of a concept album as it was planned to be), and "Love Is Coming Down" sounds a bit like The Who's attempt at composing a song for the Eurovision contest. The title track went to be one of the group's most recognisable songs, and it is a good one as it progresses nicely and tastefuly (even the cheesy 'f-word' nod to the punk movement and [probably non-deliberate] lifting a couple of notes in the piano solo from Led Zeppelin's "No Quarter" can be overlooked).

For me, the main problem with this album is that it generally doesn't sound like The Who. The songs are simply overloaded with syntheseisers and, while it works on some, it just sounds pretetntious on other ones, as if the flashy arrangement was supposed to cover up the author's lack of creativity. Not that their instrumental skills (except Keith Moon's) have deteriorated, but some of the songs ("New Song", "905", "Guitar and Pen" and even the fine "Had Enough") really have that restrained feeling, which doesn't work with The Who. All in all, much like The Who By Numbers, Who Are You is an enjoyable, but not very memorable record. Two stars.

Ludjak | 2/5 |

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