September 21, 2020

1981-03-27 – Quad City Times

1981 03 27 Quad_City_Times_Fri__Mar_27__1981_

Old rockers just keep on shaking

By Mike Kuchta
oftbe Tina

THE WHO: Face Dances
(Warner Bros.)

It‘s always a great feeling
to hear an old hand that
does more than go through
the motions That‘s what
this album is all about The
Who may not rock with the
anger or intensity they used
to. and Face Dances cer-
tainly isn‘t an unqualified
masterpiece like Who’s
Next. But like the predeces-
sor it resembles Who Are
You. it is more solid moi
the resurgence continues

Musically, there's no
doubt this is a Who album.
Even though Roger Dal-
trey‘s vocals seem a little
weaker and Pete Towno
shend has opted (or more
synthesizer-keyboard work
instead of his signature
power-chord prognmsions.
the explosive Who sound and
complex arrangements
remain. John Entwistie‘s
churning bass is as good as
ever, if not better, and Ken-
ney Jones replaces Keith
Moon admirably. Producer
Bill Scymczyk (see your
Elagles' albums) has
smoothed out the vocal har-
monies but fortunately not
had a deittescent effect

i-lntwistle penned two fine
songs here - a typical Who
rocker “You" and the more
heavy metal “The Quiet
One." which is a great inside
joke (“I ain't quiet / every-
body else is too loud"). But
as usual, Townshend is the
do minant force probing
some traditional Who
themes (fears. sexual frus-
tration, paranoia, the intri-
cacies of relationships) as
well as the major concern of

WhoAreYou-theroieoi
anagingrocker.

OfTownshend’sseven
songsiourseemeddestined
tohecomeWhoclassicaThe
45. “You Better You Bet," is
aworthyadditiontouie
hand’ssingiesu-adition'rhe
energeflqsynuieeizer-
driventimefeamressome
heautifuipianorunsand
TowndieM'snew-iound
vocalexpreesionism He
brilliantlycapturesthe
wholeeasenceoftheeong—
anomyonthefmgiieties
mmmmmmmm—
inhisdeliveryoftheiine
“Whenlsaylneedyou/you
sayyoubet—ter.”

Townshend’sahilityto
captm'emeeesenceofdtua-
tionsaiccinctlyreachesits
zenithin“Anotiier1‘i1cky
Day.”whereheboihtipshis
hattoandqueetionsthe
politically-oflentedpun—
k/new wavehandstheir
working-ciasscamaraderie
andintemationalconsdous
nee: Inuieendmeciears
throughalltherhetodc
aboutmovementsand
causesandstruggiestotell
itlikeitisinthesimplest
andstarkesthumanterms:
“’1‘hisisnosocialcrisis/
Justanothertrickydayior
3'0“"

And,inthetmpical
flavored“Don’t LetGoThe
Coat"amithe~poweriui,
X'I‘Cinfluenced‘flailyne
conis.”Townshendaeemsto
settlehisownstruggieasto
howhecanoriiheshould
compete withtheyoung.
brashrockupstarts He
knowshe'snolongerinthe
vanguard(“1justdon‘tquite
knowhowtowearmyhair
no more”). he‘s confused
(“Thiscouldbemiflering/
thiscouldbepleasure/I’m

unawareofany differ-
ence”), heieelstrapped in
his role (“You have to finish
everythingyou started”).
But “Daily Whe-
comesananthem thatre-
commiisthehandtothe
music andseemswreverse
the angry stance of “My
Generation" It'sa lyrical
reaffirmation of what the
music already tells us: the
Who are still vital and still
have the passion that fueled
theirbest workadecade

tandmoreheloreflrhisband

isnotgoingtodie,eveniiit
genmgonrmm