Review Summary: This is one of my favorite concept album, but not really for the plot - but for the way the songs blend with eachother. Of course the music is great, all of it, and while it's not perfect, it's really fun to listen.1 of 1 thought this review was well written
Another rock opera by The Who, which appeared to be more than a rock band who can scream My Generation, but actually tries something onwards that. The last opera they have made is Tommy, which in my opinion suffered a weird unconsistent concept and too short songs along with too much fillers.
Now, it's not that this album does not have a weird conept, but it does colaborate with the music a lot more. Jimmy is a mob (a sort of a punk who listens to hip hop and R&B), who grows up in highschool and repitibly fights with his parents... or something. It gets weirder - he has 4 different personalities and themes and he kinda switches between them at all time. This means the album will switch between those from time to time.
So the concept is on the brink between OK and annoying. But the thing is - It's REALLY goes by with the music. Oh, and the music is great.
I am the Sea is the opening track, where the four themes are presented to us by Roger's singing. We've got (by the order): a tough dickhead, a softer one, a lunatic, and a hypocrite. Of course you cannot get it from the first listen but it gets clearer after a while.
The first track here is The Real Me. And men, it's pretty much sums the mood of this album. Wild but calm, dumb but smart. It's a great opener overall.
And then the instrumanteal title track enters, which musically presents the four themes, only with Pete soloing other them. What can I say? Every guitar lover will smile at this one. Some great lines and some great transitions.
Cut my Hair is a good track with annoying melody, and the lyrics are probably good. I don't know. But we do have a great outro with a BBC newsreader effect which leads to a great number - The Punk and the Godfather is a damn gem. From the swapping between the pank against the godfather lines, and the funny little m-m-my genration reference.
I'm One and The Dirty Jobs are lovely soft numbers, which kinda focuses on little catchy melody lines. But after that we got the tough guy's track - Helpless Dancer. WOW. What starts as his classic theme, suddently turns into a piano based song with Roger theatricelly screaming lines about queers, gang rivels and whatnot. I don't know why, but I really love those kinda stuff. At the end we got a weird reference to The Kids are Alright song. THAT is what I call a title theme song.
Is it in my Head relys on simple melody and sounds mostly good. I've Had Enough is probably where the album starts switching to his themes and back to the song. The template will go like this: The actual songs for about 1:30 minutes, than a break down to the theme that belongs to the song, and again the actual song, and again the break down, until it's over in a drastic way.
This template repeats in 5:15, Doctor Jimmy and The Rock, which are all managed great but still I feel like they overdo it a bit. Sea and Sand also does that, but everything else in the sond is so much better. It doesn't fill like it belongs to a template, all the parts just blend in eachother.
And now, we finally have the title tracks for the rest of the theme in the last part of the album. I'm talking about Bellboy for his theme, Doctor Jimmy for Is It Me? and Love Reign O'er Me for itself. And these ones really do sound like a better version of the themes, especially with Roger screaming the Love Reign O'er Me.