I never understood why this album never got a fair shake. What always made the Who special to me was not just the aggressive, bombastic musical approach that was so influencial, but Pete Townshend's allowing his deep emotions to shine through in his songwriting. This album continues the soul searching that was so powerful on Quadrophenia. Here, if Pete had an issue, he wrote a song about it. His drinking was a problem: witness the harrowing "However Much I Booze"; despite (or maybe because of) his Rock star status, Pete never felt truly connected with women: "The Are All In Love", "Dreaming From The Waist", "In Hand Or Face". He never felt like he had TRUE friends: "How Many Friends" ("..he's really just after my ass)+ ("we talk SO much (...)behind each other's backs"), his life was falling out from under him in the extremely powerful "Slip Kid". Entwistle's "Success Story" adds a little comic relief and sarcasm to the mix, unfortunately, the label also wanted a hit single, so "Squeeze Box" is thrown into the mix (a quality song, don't get me wrong, but) which doesn't even come close to fitting the mood of the rest of the collection, it just affects the flow of self depricating midlife crisis songs that give the album it's theme. Easily up there with other " hold on for dear life" albums such as: Lennon's "Plastic Ono Band", Harry Nilsson's "Pussycats", Big Star's "Thirds/Sister Lovers", Roger Water's "the Final Cut", etc.. So, don't pass this one up due to the mindlessness of critics: unless you have never had moments of sincere doubt in your life, never questioned yourself, or what IT ALL means, this album will pull on your emotions and remind you that "I hope I die before I get old" wasn't just a line to create a cultural anthem, Pete feels a lot of pain in his heart and brings us all along for the ride.