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The Who - Quadrophenia CD (album) cover

QUADROPHENIA

The Who

 

Proto-Prog

4.48 | 411 ratings

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The Truth
5 stars An emotional journey through the adolescent years. The Who pulled off a true masterpiece when they mixed the rock opera-ambitions of Tommy with the more musically advanced Who's Next with Quadrophenia. A rock opera telling the story of Jimmy, a struggling member of the mod movement.

I Am the Sea is the soft and relaxing first track. Gentle waves on the beach interspersed with each of Jimmy's personalities. "Loooveeee rain on meeeee..." "Bell-boy" A track that really sets the mood.

Then it bursts into the heavy rocker The Real Me which sounds like a lot of other Who tracks but fits this album perfectly. It tells how Jimmy has been trying to deal with his mental condition, Quadrophenia, through the years. Numerous attempts have failed so he just deals with it.

The instrumental title track is our introduction to all of Jimmy's personalities, sort of a overture. It is real moody and does a perfect job of displaying each personality (Tough guy, raging lunatic, romantic, and a beggar & hypocrite).

Cut My Hair is the mod cry, Jimmy's feeling of being an outcast, a slow melodic piano- driven track. "Why should I care?"

The Punk and the Godfather to me displays the tough guy side of Jimmy, him remembering a fight he had a concert. It is a very thrashing track in which Daultry spits out the vocals in perfect form.

I'm One is Jimmy finally feeling confident about himself, but he is still unsure. A nice little acoustic track. Pretty folky sounding the whole time.

The Dirty Jobs is about Jimmy's job as a chimney sweep and how he was abused by his co-workers. This sends his confidence downward. The track is pretty rock filled but there is a sense of a sort of sadness about it. Pretty catchy chorus too.

Helpless Dancer is the tough guy coming out again. Jimmy's angst-filled song about his view of the world right now. Just simple piano chords the whole song but there is a certain power about it that may be the product of Daltrey's vocals.

Is It In My Head is Jimmy wondering if all his anger is just in his head (since he believes himself crazy). It is a very uneasy sounding tune that fits the mood. It is a pretty catchy one again, a real upside of The Who, complex and catchy music.

Jimmy is kicked out of his house because his parent's found a box of blues. I've Had Enough is Jimmy setting out for the train station to go to the beach. He believes he's had enough of life and is going to see the mods because that is the only thing he has left in life. The track itself is a really moody one (the four personalities sort of battling) and interspersed with his anger-filled lyrics are soft renditions of "love reign o'er me". One of my favorite tracks on the album.

The second side starts off with a quick intro that recalls Cut My Hair, "Why should I care? Why should I care?" But eventually turns into some powerful brass music. One of the greatest tracks ever made, 5:15 is a perfect start to the second side of the album. Jimmy is reflecting all that has happend in the past few days during his train ride and decides (he is high of course, "out of my brain on a train") that he is making the right choice. This is another catchy yet complex number and is a true great of rock music.

Sea and Sand is Jimmy's thoughts and feelings when he sees the girl he thought he loved with another boy. The track is sort of sad but has bursts of anger and passion. Rocky at times and slow and melodic at others. You can really tell his personalities are starting to become out-of-whack.

Drowned is a rock number that is a very catchy track, Jimmy is contemplating drowning but decides against it because he still has the mod lifestyle to give him something to live for. A very longing track.

Bell Boy is Jimmy once again feeling betrayed. The leader of the mods is but a lowly bellboy at a hotel. Now Jimmy feels he has nothing to live for. The raving lunatic personality shows up in this track (Keith Moon does vocals, of course) and it is a very humorous track at times.

Doctor Jimmy is the personalities finally colliding. He takes an insane number of drugs and steals a boat and takes it out to the middle of the ocean. His anger is well represented in the track with some powerful vocals by Daltrey, but Daltrey also displays the romantic personality well. "Is it me? For a moment?" The violin is a highlight on this track, excellent playing by whoever plays.

The Rock is sort of a second overture, an emotion filled instrumental that is symbolic of all of the personalities. Jimmy is in the middle of the ocean feeling without a friend. The track is a very powerful one.

Love Reign O'er Me is Jimmy coming off his high. He has realization on a rock in the middle of the ocean and sort of a spiritual rebirth. This track is an emotional ballad with perfect vocals and some powerful guitar playing. A truly perfect ending to a perfect album.

I love it with all my heart. Ever since first listen. It's an album any adolescent teen can relate to. 5 beautiful stars.

(This is actually more full blown prog than proto-prog but I can understand why the band has that label.)

The Truth | 5/5 |

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