Quadrophenia is the Who at their most symmetrical, their most cinematic, ultimately their most maddening. Captained by Pete Townshend, they have put together a beautifully performed and magnificently recorded essay of a British youth mentality in which they played no little part, lushly endowed with black and white visuals and a heavy sensibility of the wet-suffused air of 1965.
Nonetheless, the album fails to generate a total impact because of its own internal paradox: Instead of the four-sided interaction implicit in the title and overriding concept, Quadrophenia is itself the product of a singular (albeit brilliant) consciousness. The result is a static quality which the work never...
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