Most helpful positive review
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
more great Who material
on March 28, 2004
This is one of the Who albums that many believe shouldn't have been made. It's true that the songs on here lack a bit of energy, especially compared to their early 70's records. But I can't help but think the songs on Face Dances are some of the Who's most well-written and memorable collection of songs.
Hearing Face Dances for the first time you can tell that, by this point in their career, the Who seem really exhausted. The songs that do have some energy feel more like the members of the Who are forcing themselves to rock out, to keep up with the times. The harder rocking songs just don't sound very convincing. However, I don't think the Who lost a step at all in terms of writing excellent music.
The main reason I love this album so much is because I think every song (excluding the bonus tracks) is written very carefully and every song is easy to remember and fun to listen to. Plus I have a lot of memories connected to all the songs, especially "You Better You Bet". Memories of when I was only a few years old and hearing that song on the radio as my mother drove us to Delaware to do some shopping. I feel like I'm back in the mid-80's once again whenever that song comes on. The rest of the songs give me the same memories.
But I think all the songs are excellent. Even "Another Tricky Day" which is most people's second favorite song (behind "You Better You Bet"). I couldn't get into that song for the longest time but now I think I finally hear what everyone else loves about it.
There are some moments that especially interest me such as in "How Can You Do It Alone" when the melody switches in another direction and the line "I need your help, so I can do it by myself" comes in, man that's great! I'm not sure what the lyrics are about, but that's a very good unexpected melody. The rest of the song is great too.
The rockers are all winners such as "Cache Cache", "The Quiet One", and "You". And even if a song doesn't rock very hard, you can count on hearing some great songwriting to make sure the song is a keeper. "Did You Steal My Money" has some cool vocals and "Daily Records" is yet another enjoyable song which very much sounds like the classic Who of the early 70's.
The bonus tracks are mostly okay except for "Is It In You" which doesn't do enough to keep me interested, but "I Like Nightmares" is extremely good. That song has excellent melodies all over the place. The two live tracks at the end are pretty weak though, but nothing bad.
It's a breath of fresh air to hear a hard rock band from the 60's and 70's release an 80's album that doesn't sound extremely predictable (I'm looking at you Aerosmith, Rainbow and Deep Purple). I wouldn't put this album ahead of Tommy, Quadrophenia, or Who Are You, but it's my fourth favorite Who album. Give it a chance.