The first major Pete Townshend compilation since 1996's awkwardly titled The Best of Pete Townshend: Coolwalkingsmoothtalkingstraightsmokingfirestoking, Truancy covers the basics. It has the hits "Let My Love Open the Door," "Rough Boys," and "Face the Face" -- but it attempts to be a concise portrait of every aspect of Townshend's solo work, containing three cuts apiece from Who Came First and Rough Mix, which is more than the two each from Empty Glass, All the Best Cowboys Have Chinese Eyes, and White City. This creates some notable absences -- no "A Little Is Enough," no "Slit Skirts," no "Give Blood" or "A Friend Is a Friend" -- but the overall effect showcases Townshend's ever-churning imagination, particularly because the collection ends with two new songs, the blues "Guantanamo" and the near-Chinese Eyes throwback "How Can I Help You," both good enough to spark hope that he'll finally get around to writing another full album, either for himself or for the Who, one of these days.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
feat: Ronnie Lane