Sound — 9
This is The Who's first attempt in finding new creative ways of recording in the studio. The sound is familiar to their previous album "My Generation", especially with the opening track "Run, Run, Run" along with some very querky compositions such as Keith Moon's "Cobwebs and Strange" (fittingly titled) and John's "Boris The Spider". Also, Pete's first stab at the rock opera he is notorious for can be heard in the 9 minute-plus finale track "A Quick One While He's Away" which is actually multiple 2 1/2 minute tracks combined with a central theme. This song is very much underrated for it's uniqueness for being the being of a new way of writing music story/plot and creative riffs.
Lyrics — 8
This album is unique in the aspect that Pete Townshend only wrote 4 songs on the original album, due to contract agreements that each band member would write 2 songs (even though Roger Daltrey only wrote one which was "See My Way"). We get a taste of John Entwistle's dark humor in "Boris The Spider" and "Whiskey Man" and, as stated earlier, Pete's first crack at a rock opera. We also see why Keith Moon and Roger Daltrey didn't help with the songwriting process. Ha.
Overall Impression — 8
This album is regarded as one of their weaker albums, but what is important to note about this album is that this is their first attempt at exploring the potential of the studio, which would eventually lead to their most memorable work. "So Sad About Us" is actually considered the most covered Who song in their catalog, which makes an appearance on this album. Kind of how The Beatles reinvented themselves in the studio, so did The Who and it started with this album. If you were to lose this album, it wouldn't be the end of the world, but you would be missing out on a pivotal point in their career not hearing at least once.