You must’ve been hiding under the most solitary rock in the world to have not heard the names Roger Daltrey or Pete Townshend at some point during your life. Yes, it’s The Who.
Rather than replacing members that have tragically passed away over the years, the two founding members expanded their own repertoire of instruments to keep The Who what it’s always been at its core. Now, in 2019, we see if they continue to maintain the legendary status they’ve attained in an almost self-titled effort, ‘Who’.
Beginning with ironic sentiment, ‘All This Music Will Fade’ is a two fingers up statement about the state of the current music industry, with the constant recycling and re-use material to keep a captive audience and chief executives wallets full. Told through the guise of classic rock with rebellious punk tinges, it’s an emphatic and energetic opener.
Drudging down the sombre roads of war, ‘Beads On One String’ is an emotional epitaph to end hostilities across the world, with a mixture of acoustic guitar riffs, layered with keyboard synths and sincere vocalisations from Daltrey, whose naturally smooth and authentic style comes across excellently in every line.
Turning down the roads of upbeat country rock, ‘Break The News’ is a light-hearted and joyful experience, with Daltrey reminding the audience that he’ll be around to deliver more messages and music in the future, featuring acoustic driven instrumentation that creates a great warm and welcoming soundscape.
Ending on a strange note, ‘She Rocked My World’ is a sultry romance, with warm pianos intertwined with Spanish guitars that would be at home appearing on a television drama restaurant scene. While it does indeed showcase Townshend‘s and Daltrey‘s creativity, it stands out as an odd ending to the anti-war and societal content featured in the rest of the album.
This is certainly a pleasurable experience throughout, and having mastered multiple instruments between them, it makes their accomplishments even more amazing across a 55-year career that has seen The Who evolve as the music scene has progressively grown with them.