The Who By Numbers
is a depressing album, both in ways the band intended and ways they didn't.
By this point band members had passed 30 years of age, and it sounds like it ... an about face from the overblown albums they'd been making since Tommy
, this is The Who at their most sedate, subtle, and melodic.
All the songs are good, except for the horrible "Squeeze Box", which naturally enough became the big hit single. Don't write this album off because of that song though - the rest sounds nothing like it.
The only problem is that while all the songs are of decent quality, none of them leap out from the pack as a memorable Who classic ... "Slip Kid" is slight but catchy, and "Blue Red and Grey" is one of Townshend's best ballads, along with "However Much I Booze" and "How Many Friends".
Townshend's in a confessional self-reflective mode, he's grown weary of the rock'n'roll life, but he doesn't know how to do anything else, and the songs keep circling in on themselves with self-doubt and self-pity.
I like this album quite a bit, but it's nowhere near as exciting or urgent as the earlier Who. And it's a weird Who record indeed when the best song is on the second half, and it's the only song that rocks, and it's an Entwistle composition, "Success Story".Rated:
by Reviewer: Creative Noise
(blogging at Creative Noise