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The Who - Endless Wire CD (album) cover

ENDLESS WIRE

The Who

 

Proto-Prog

2.88 | 84 ratings

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mystic fred
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The group's current (2007) line up, mainly Roger Daltrey lead vocals, Pete Townshend guitars, vocals, Zac Starkey Drums, Pino Palladino Bass, with John "Rabbit" Bundrick on Hammond Organ and Simon Townshend backing vocals, had been working on the album for some time. The album includes the typical dramatic Who signatures we all know and love interspersed with some very poignant acoustic numbers from Pete. One or two old Who fans of many years standing i played this album to recently were very enthusiastic about most of the songs, myself included, the band still have a lot to say, dealing with religious, social and political themes just as biting as their writing back in their early days!

The first song "Fragments" starts with what sounds like a speeded-up "Baba O'Riley" intro, a smile of recognition here as the song settles into traditional Who style signatures on vocals and guitar power chords from Pete. The next song "Man in a Purple Dress" is just Pete on acoustic guitar and Roger on vocals, written by Pete after seeing Mel Gibson's "Passion of the Christ". "Mike Post Theme" is a much heavier affair, awash with those dramatic Who crescendos, power chords and Pete's familiar backing vocals. This trackmore than any other reminded me of "Who's Next". "In the Ether" is a much darker song with guitar, piano and Roger's voice is obviously much deeper these days and sometimes growling. "Black Widow's Eyes" another traditional sounding Who song, some amazing Moon-style drum and cymbal crashes from Zac, Keith gave Zac drum lessons many years ago. "2000 Years" features Pete on mandolin with orchestral backing, and Roger repeating "2000 long long years..i've waited". Another demo-sounding track from Pete "God Speaks of Marty Robbins" is Pete singing with his acoustic guitar. "It's Not Enough"!! I would have loved to have written this song myself - "i gave you cash, i gave you love, all that i heard was it's not enough"...."i work so hard. it gets so tough, whatever i give, it's not enough.." a good rocker too! The next song is completely opposite, "You Stand by Me" about having unquestioning support through difficult times, another acoustic number from Pete.

The much publicised ten song mini-opera "Wire and Glass" kicks off with "Sound Round" and "Pick up the Peace", and immediately reminded me of "Tommy" - great! This is very much a re-invigorated Who we all know and love, one lyric-driven song leading into another interspersed with various instruments (mandolin, banjo) and vocal styles and harmony effects, though the most striking song here is "We Got a Hit" , though extremely catchy is very short, though an extended version is included on the CD. "Fragments of Fragments" describes the mini-opera fairly accurately, as overall this is how it comes over, a collection of fragments but which doesn't detract from some excellent musical ideas here, which is a mini opera after all so no long over-extended dramatic solos here.

Overall an exciting return to form for the Who and well worth the wait, though not an essential Prog album, who knows if they'll come up some more music in the future - but not 24 years please guys!!!

prog rating 3, music quality rating 4.5

mystic fred | 3/5 |

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