I think that Quadrophenia exemplifies youth, more so than in any other album I have ever heard. Without even looking at the lyrics, the sound of The Who’s rock and roll music hits perfectly on teenage angst. In the song “The Real Me,” I feel like it does a good job of portraying what it is like to be in youth. He asks himself, the doctor, the preacher and his mother, “Can you see the real me?” I think that that is a common question that young people think about a lot because after all of these institutions like family, church, and school throw their ideals upon young people, are those important institutions then in turn going to be able to separate how you choose to emerge as a person from the you that they have worked so diligently to form a particular way.
The struggle that Jimmy has with his parents is also very indicative of youth. He says, “Mine want me their way”. I have yet to meet a teenager that has never fought with their parents over some aspect of growing up and the fight for independence. It’s a tough transition period that Quadrophenia illustrates nicely. The struggle between who really knows what is best for Jimmy is evident between him and his parents, and he eventually leaves home to venture out on his to fully have ownership of himself.
The themes in Quadrophenia are a little extreme, but if it is thematically toned down a bit, I could see many people in their youth identifying with this album for years to come.