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The Who - 2019 release - my thoughts - anyone else?

Discussion in 'Music to Your Ears' started by mkdaws32, Oct 30, 2020.

  1. mkdaws32

    mkdaws32 Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

    Aug 28, 2019
    Moncton, NB Canada
    I have never been a huge Who fan, but I know the hits and respect the incredible talent for songwriting and musicianship. Having said that, I'm listening through their latest studio release. I'm only about a third of the way through (I just realized I was listening on shuffle, so not listening in order, lol!) and 'm finding it uncommonly interesting.

    The writing, both lyrics and music, as well as the arrangements, are distinctly Who - very reminiscent of their classic works. It does have a certain subtle maturity about it. I have to say, in general, it's very very good, although "She Rocked My World" is not my favorite ;) . It doesn't sound like they forced anything out or were trying to relive the old days; it's just creative and good. The production is decidedly modern, in my opinion, and compliments the music well.

    Also, Roger and Pete sound at the top of their game. The guitar work is skillful, melodic and appropriate for each song. Roger's voice is stellar - it's always been gruff and throaty, but I think I like it better now than ever. The rest if the instrumentation is very true to Who style and, in particular, the drumming sticks out to me as stellar (and I'm not a drummer).

    Songs like "All This Music Must Fade", "Ball and Chain", "Beads on One String" will probably never be considered classics and fade away with time, but I can't help thinking that if these same songs had been on earlier albums, they would have been classic hits.

    Any other thoughts?
    SecretSquirrel likes this.
  2. srblue5

    srblue5 Tele-Meister

    Oct 12, 2020
    I bought the album the day it was released. Unlike you, I've been a huge Who fan for years. I saw them on the tour for their last studio release (Endless Wire) -- it was an amazing show but it didn't inspire to check out Endless Wire until I heard a couple of songs from it later on (I still only like those two songs).

    With that in mind, I approached Who (2019) cautiously but ended up enjoying a lot of it. "All This Music Must Fade" definitely sounds like it could've been on an earlier Who album (though more likely after Quadrophenia). Another favourite for me was "Break The News", although it doesn't really sound like classic Who (not necessarily a bad thing). Other songs I particularly enjoyed were "I'll Be Back" and "This Gun Will Misfire". The rest were pleasant, though having not listened to the album since earlier this year, I don't really remember how they go. I may have to spin it this weekend.

    My only gripe is the mix/sound quality, which kind of sounds cluttered and lacking in dynamics to me. Then again, I did hear the CD version of it. Maybe it sounds better on vinyl. Also, some of the autotune (or equivalent) use in places was a bit jarring, but Townshend has often been on the experimental/cutting edge with respect to technology so give him an A for not being tethered to classic vintage sounds/aesthetics.
  3. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 14, 2012
    London, UK
    I thought that this and Endless Wire were there most consistent albums since Tommy. Loved it.
    srblue5 likes this.
  4. David Barnett

    David Barnett Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 17, 2003
    The Far-Flung Isles of Langerhans
    Nope, the vinyl is compressed to death too.
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