The Who by Numbers functions as Pete Townshend's confessional singer/songwriter album, as he chronicles his problems with alcohol ("However Much I Booze"), women ("Dreaming From the Waist" and "They Are All in Love"), and life in general. However, his introspective musings are rendered ineffective by Roger Daltrey's bluster and the cloying, lightweight filler of "Squeeze Box." In addition, Townshend's songs tend to be underdeveloped, relying on verbosity instead of melodicism, with only the simple power of "Slip Kid," the grace of "Blue Red and Grey," and John Entwistle's heavy rocker "Success Story" making much of an impact.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine