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the Who - Endless Wire
What to say about the band that has made the first record in 24 years? What to say about the band whose influence on popular music is beyond boundaries? What to say about the band who’s responsible for a lot of broken televisions in hotels, due to their own or coping behavior by others? What to say about the Who by a 22 year old?
High trees catch a lot of wind; thus are more likely to be criticized. Pete Townsend can be an irritating man, I realize that and I also realize that the vocals have become a little lower than in the early years but I just do not understand the negative words towards Endless Wire.
The new album begins with a pretty familiar sound in ‘Fragments’, where the electronic parts are again present. Yet, most of the songs have a sweet-dream acoustic influence of which ‘A Man in Purple Dress’, ‘Black Widow Eyes’ and my favorite, the almost childish lullaby song ‘God Speaks of Marty Robbins’ are the best example. Further, the production makes songs like ‘It’s not Enough’ sound massive, although the amount of instruments isn’t that high. Actually it says a lot already, namely that this album again contains a wide variety of all the possibilities that lay within the musical spectrum.
The second half of the album contains a mini-opera, based on the novella ‘The Boy Who Heard Music’ by Townsend about a 60s rocker who gets in touch with three teenagers playing in a band in which he sees great potential. Right now I’ve heard the story more than ten times and every time I went through the whole opera I cannot help myself but smile; smile because of satisfaction. Endless Wire could thus be considered in two different ways. First, there are the typical sounds, of a band who was out of the studio for twenty four years which are given form in the band’s characteristic ways; namely half song, half rock-opera. On the other hand, I can imagine that people who have bought several versions of Tommy might be a bit disappointed because the sound has become older. I let you choose for yourself but I’d also like to give my very personal opinion about Endless Wire.

I’m a big Tommy fan and with the Who included in the line-up of 2006, I just had to go to the Rock Werchter festival. When I was there I saw an irritated Townsend performing the windmill, and together with Roger Daltrey, the Who…… they just took my breath away and I’m so glad I had the opportunity to see them live, even though it took them more than my entire life to make a new album. And that album, Endless Wire sounds exactly how it should be in 2006. And when I hear the DJ’s on the radio talking about the great new Justin Timberlake record without even mentioning the latest album of the Who, I find that frustrating. 

To all the critics I’d like to say: just forget all the prejudices about the band and try to look a little bit different than the easy comparison with the past. I wasn’t there, in the 60s, but I am here in the new millennium. And compared to all those crappy bands like Panic at the Disco or the overload of Bitish quasi-hip bands, the Who makes a statement of how it also could work out, just by doing so damn fine songwriting.
the Who - Endless Wire
90/1001Details Universal
Released on Tuesday Nov 28th, 2006

Writer @CarpeSiem on Tuesday Nov 28th, 2006

Tags: #the Who
Tracklisting 01 Fragments
02 Man in a Purple Dress
03 Mike Post Theme
04 In the Ether
05 Black Widow's Eyes
06 Two Thousand Years
07 God Speaks of Mary Robbins
08 It's Not Enough
09 You Stand by Me
10 Sound Round
11 Pick Up the Peace
12 Unholy Trinity
13 Trilby's Piano
14 Endless Wire
15 Fragments of Fragments
16 We Got a Hit
17 They Made My Dream Come True
18 Mirror Door
19 Tea&Theatre
Line up Pete Townsend
Roger Daltrey