The Who, especially Pete Townshend, had been unhealthy in dwelling on the fact that they were getting older ("older" being your 30s in rock and roll) since the mid 1970s on albums like "The Who By Numbers" and "Who Are You." In 1978, legendary madcap drummer Keith Moon died, an event that forever shattered the band, and two years later, "Face Dances" reveals a group in a state of uncomfortable maturity and a yearning for wisdom.
Other albums, such as "Who's Next" allowed for The Who's growing maturity to be seen, but in those days, it was still with youthful arrogance. This is what makes "Face Dances" so unique. The Who are found in a frantic daze of disillusionment, unleashing track after track of enthralling energy.
The sound within packs a solid punch, in a vaguely pop-oriented feel, such as that of 'Cache Cache' and the excellent Top 10 single 'You Better You Bet,' as the mood is generated in a much more frenetic fashion in 'Daily Records,' 'You,' and 'Another Tricky Day.' Other songs like bassist John Entwistle's ironic self-portrait 'The Quiet One' and 'Somebody Saved Me' are minor Who classics. Kenney Jones, Keith Moon's replacement, proves himself to be a competent drummer, while Roger Daltrey's angry cries punctuate the album with essence.
Though it is without the pinnacles of other albums, "Face Dances" is definitely a worthy set. This album was the next-to-last studio album for The Who however, revealing the band's loss of desire, a fact which bitterly attaches itself to the songs here.