The Who fires back with new record, 'WHO', after hiatus

Category:  Music
Wednesday, January 22nd, 2020 at 6:04 PM
The Who fires back with new record, 'WHO', after hiatus by Rhiannon Pushchak

“I don’t care, I know you’re gonna hate this song.”

Unapologetic. Intense. A perfect set of opening lines for a new record by The Who.

Out of all the rock bands from decades past now considered to be “classic,” The Who’s newest record, simply titled “WHO,” could possibly be the most anticipated. Their trademark rough and hard-hitting style intact, one of the most influential bands of all time has put together a 2019 record that’s nothing short of perfect.

This is their first album since 2006’s “Endless Wire.”

The tracks “Ball and Chain,” “I Don’t Wanna Get Wise” and “All This Music Must Fade” were all released as singles, coincidentally packing the biggest punch. But the whole record is chock-full of all of the things that make The Who so great, such as a robust guitar and powerfully executed vocals. “Ball and Chain” is easily the best out of the three due to its political content, as well as displaying an incredible vocal performance, plus angry and melodic guitar work.

Other tracks on the record that stand out are the three bonus tracks on the deluxe edition release, exclusive to Target. “Got Nothing to Prove” is a must-listen in that it was recorded in the mid-60s when The Who was just gaining ground as a group. The track wasn’t well received when it was originally recorded, because it didn’t pack the same punch The Who was becoming famous for at the time. It’s really interesting to see such a departure from a band who was known for destroying instruments and stages as part of their act. The track was also offered to early ska band Jimmy James and the Vagabonds, but they weren’t interested either. This release showcases the first time this track appeared on any release since.

After a very successful 50th anniversary tour, as well as a string of shows playing their innovative and highly regarded records “Tommy” and “Quadrophenia” in their entirety, the announcement of a new album came as quite a surprise (but with extreme excitement from both old fans and the newer generations). One might argue that Roger Daltrey is at his best with his vocal performance on this record. After postponing the North American leg of their 2014-16 tour due to having emergency surgery for viral meningitis, his voice sounds absolutely incredible.

As for Pete Townshend’s guitar work on the record, there’s nothing that needs to be said other than: he really is one of the greatest guitarists to have ever graced this Earth, and even that’s an understatement. The sound is crisp and filled-out, the solos are plentiful, and a die-hard Who fan will be pleasantly impressed by this record.

Tags: review

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