The Who's ninth "official" studio album and their first with new drummer Kenny Jones behind the kit, Face Dances finds the band near the end of the road and at a new beginning all at once. From the breezy pop of "You Better You Bet" to the John Entwhistle penned rocker "The Quiet One" to the fine album closer "Another Tricky Day", this album finds The Who in transition from what it once was to what it was becoming. Which at this point was a band with one foot in the past and one very shaky foot pointing to the future. With Townshends songwriting themes turning reflective and more personal, and his music upbeat and somewhat lite, Face Dances is an admirable attempt to change direction in the storm that was after the death of original drummer Keith Moon. And it is indeed the two John Entwistle tunes here that carry the "traditional" Who torch forward, not Pete's more subdued and pop oriented leanings.
Considered by many to be The Who's true last album (with the subsequent "It's Hard" being viewed as simply a contract fullfiller) Face Dances has held up well over the years and most likely sounds better today then when first released under the storm and controversy that was this band at the time. Neither the soft flop many considered it to be at the time or a great Who album by any stretch of the imagination, Face Dances is simply a solid rock n roll record with some good pop hooks and a small vision of it's own. Tight, straight forward, and just a little different for Who fare, it's worth a purchase, download, or casual listen. If you don't expect too much greatness, you may very well find you like what you hear.
Newer editions of this album also contain 5 bonus cuts of some interest.