The Who’s release new album: Who

Cover art of

Creative Commons

Cover art of "WHO", The Who's new album.

The Who, contending with ZZTop and the Rolling Stones for being one of the longest lasting rock bands, has just released a new album. The Who has been together for 56 years, with multiple members. It has been 13 years since Robert Daltrey and Pete Townshend have made an album together, but in 2019 they came together again and released “Who”.

“Who” contains 14 different songs that last a total of 54 minutes and 34 seconds. This album is full of greats and familiar sounds from previous albums. Anyone from new fans to those of old love this album.

The starting track is “All This Music Must Fade”. The beginning lyric, “I don’t care. I know you’re gonna hate this song,” shows the dispute between whether older musicians should make more music or not. This lyric shows that continued theme of how legends should be. The Who have chosen to come back with more epic and familiar music and they don’t care if people like it.

My personal favorite song of the album is “Beads on One String”. This anti war song is not made to protest a certain war, but to bring everyone together and be peaceful. It changes from the medium paced songs that dominate the album with a slower paced ballad with a powerful message. One of the lines from this song that demonstrates its message is “don’t ever say never. It doesn’t mean a thing.” While many artists play with the idea of “never say never,” The Who expand on the idea and give it more reasoning in this song.

 

Another interesting piece of this album, other than the music, is the cover art. The odd yet lively artwork looks like a collection of odd pictures actually has meaning to it. Each picture represents an album The Who made or influences for their works. The two most prominent ones are the baked beans from the album The Who Sell Out, and the Union Jack Flag, a recurring symbol showing The Who’s British heritage. Overall, I really enjoyed the meaning in the artwork.

 

Overall this album is a great comeback for The Who. It sports many new songs destined to be greats. It was quite hard for me to find anything wrong with it so I am really nitpicking here. The only problem I have with this album is that all the songs sound the same. The guitar undergoes no variance of tone or distortion. The grittiness of the vocals also remains the same through the song. The same instruments are also used through each song making each one sound the same. While this isn’t a super big problem, they didn’t expand or experiment with anything crazy. Either way, it’s still a great album that deserves an 8.5/10 due to great messages but only a good execution. The tour for this album will be coming to Colorado May 2nd at the Pepsi Center.