by The Who
Twenty-four years after their last studio album, the surviving members of the Who release their newest work, "Endless Wire". Although the manic quality of the band's rhythm section (represented here mainly by bassist Pino Palladino and drummer Zak Starkey, plus various guest musicians and Pete Townshend himself) is much missed, and Townshend's lyrics pontificate a bit too much, the music, anchored by vocalist Roger Daltrey, still delivers the oomph that bands half their age still can't muster. Daltrey finally gets, after failing to in previous albums, the nuance and tone of Townshend's music, giving excellent vocal performances (alternating with Townshend on some cuts) throughout the CD. (And is Pete doing a Tom Waits vocal riff on "In The Ether"?) Plus, just like 60s albums "A Quick One" and "The Who Sell Out", the band performs a ten song mini-opera, "Wire and Glass", whose plot about an aging rocker serves both as a metaphor for the group and a showcase for some of their most impassioned work. (There's also a DVD enclosed featuring the band performing live in Lyon, France last summer. Not one of their good nights.) Choice cuts: "It's Not Enough"; "Endless Wire"; "Mike Post Theme".
by The Who