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The Who, ‘Endless Wire’ (Universal Republic)

The Who’s first studio album in 24 years opens with an echo of the “Baba O’Riley” synth riff, yet Endless Wire doesn’t try to reanimate the muscle of the band’s early-’70s work. Instead, surviving members Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey explore a rustic folk-rock vibe — not a bad move, considering the frayed edges of Daltrey’s golden-god yowl. A handful of cuts form Townshend’s latest mini-opera, with the highlight “It’s Not Enough,” a self-contained gem that proves the guitarist hasn’t lost his knack for pop precision.

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