I will refrain from making any stupid jokes about the title, especially seeing as how The Who do it themselves (they're talking about their dicks of course).
The album's artwork features a kid standing in front of a video machine, so The Who can keep up to date and bring Tommy
to the Pac-Man
age. Unfortunately, the Pac-Man
age was also one of over-synthed, over-produced rock and AOR Corporate Rock. And guess what? The Who, being the radically innovative band that they are, have decided to fuse the two!
"Athena" has its moments, the title track glides on a pleasantly catchy British Invasion melody, and "Eminence Front" has a nice repeating synth line. And that's about it - even those three half-way decent songs are just that - half-way decent, not classics, or 'great', or even 'really good'.
So It's Hard
is obviously the product of a band that had come to the end of the line, the only good point in its favor is that it lowered expectations of The Who for all time - it's so bad that no one in their right mind would ever expect The Who to ever produce good music again, which indeed they didn't.
Had The Who broken up at their peak like The Beatles, people would romanticize about the great music they could've made, but - as the ex-Beatles' solo careers attest - if The Beatles had held on they would have released crap as pathetic as The Who in 1982.
So I wouldn't hate on The Who because of this album, since it's not their fault that they were creatively bankrupt old men. It goes without saying that unless you're terminally nostalgic, avoid any of the product that has come from the band's relentless 'comebacks' - just stick to their early recordings instead.Rated:
by Reviewer: Creative Noise
(blogging at Creative Noise