Wire & Glass: Six Songs From a Mini-Opera
This EP, the first new Who record since 1982, came out last week — everywhere, that is, except America, where fans who want to hear this preview of the upcoming full album have to shell out for an import. The good news is that Wire & Glass: Six Songs From a Mini-Opera does broadly sound like the Who in their prime, despite the passing of Keith Moon, John Entwistle, and many, many years.
On most of these songs, Roger Daltrey roars bravado and doubt, from the tearaway opening ”Sound Round” (”I fear the future, man”) to the grand ambiguities of ”Mirror Door.” On the almost folk-quiet ”They Made My Dreams Come True,” one of two tracks sung by Pete Townshend, the guitarist explores a theme that has tormented him for years: the turbulent relationship between fan and star. ”People died when I performed,” he sings as if he still can’t believe it (11 fans were crushed to death before a 1979 Who concert).
Much of Wire & Glass feels like little more than a disjointed selection of song fragments, but it nonetheless throbs with the drive, the struggle, that always characterized the Who. It’s clear that Townshend and Daltrey have their heart and soul in this creative comeback.