Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Peter Townshend: Empty Glass [Atco, 1980]
Townshend has said the only reason this isn't a Who record is that it wasn't time for a Who record, which must be his oblique way of apologizing for not being able to sing like Roger Daltrey. On his earlier solo excursions, the casually reflective mood suited his light timbre. Here he's coming to terms with love, frustration, punk, and other subjects that overtax his capacity for urgency and anger (and understanding). Who fans find the gap between aspiration and achievement touching, even thematic. Nonbelievers find it whiny. And they hate those ostinatos. B-