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The Who - Who Are You CD (album) cover

WHO ARE YOU

The Who

 

Proto-Prog

3.32 | 208 ratings

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Malve87
4 stars "Who Are You" was Who's release for 1978, three weeks before the great Keith Moon sadly passed away. This album leaves me always with mixed feelings, since the songwriting is pretty complex, with hints of prog, "Music must change" for instance, while containing some weaker moments like "Guitar and Pen". What's really controversial about it are the arrangements: a lot of synths, keyboards, strings sections above everything, even Pete's guitars.

Moon is always left behind just to keep it tight and really really simple, this was due to his bad health condition at the time of recording, but it is also evident the band struggle to evolve offering something different, being myself a Who fan, the first time I ever listened to it, I was quite disgusted, of course I was wrong: the material is much more sophisticated than ever, reminding me in certain points of "Quadrophenia", with its symphonic arrangements,for instance the synth string fast arpeggios on "Sister Disco" and tracks like "Had Enough" or "Love is coming down", a beautiful ballad, with complex choir parts and entire strings sections. It is no crime saying that the only rocking tracks are the brilliant "Trick of the light", written by Entwistle, showing again his own sense of humor, dealing with a man incapacity of giving sexual satisfaction to a woman and the legendary title track.

As fror the rest of the tracks "New Song" is really enjoyable, reminding very much of "Slip Kid" from "The Who By Numbers".

Personally I think that the problem for this album is its apparent lack of Who trademarks: No frantic drumming, no powerful guitar chords.

It's not easy to give it a definitive rating...anyway along with "Quadrophenia", "Who Are You" is the most prog friendly work the band ever did, for its arrangements, the complexity of the structure and harmonic progressions (check out "Love is coming down"), even though for sure it's not the typical Who album, it does not rock hard as "Who's next", nor has the grandness of "Quadrophenia", nor has the deepness of "The Who By Numbers". Considered this a 3 stars rating would be unfair for the music quality it has.

Malve87 | 4/5 |

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