Good Times

The Monkees

Rhino, 2016

REVIEW BY: David Bowling


Hey, hey we’re The Monkees! Who thought The Monkees would release a new album nearly 50 years since their television show ended, 20 since their last studio release, and four since the passing of member Davy Jones?my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

I didn’t think Mickey Dolenz, Michael Nesmith, and Peter Tork had it in them, but they have channeled the 1960s and created an excellent album of sunshine pop. It is not an album that covers new ground, but it will still put a smile on your face. They managed to fuse Dolenz’s pop sensibilities, Tork’s quirkiness, and Nesmith’s realistic creativity into a smooth and bright pop mix.

The disc begins with the title track and “You Bring The Summer,” which immediately transports the listener back in time. Their vocals may have aged a bit, befitting people entering their seventies, but they have acquired a nice patina.

It is “Me & Magdalena” that establishes the album as a cut above the norm. The memorable melodies combined with the spot-on harmonies make it one of the better pop songs of the year.

“Birth Of An Accidental Hipster” is a fun-filled psychedelic pop song similar to the ones that The Monkees were so good at producing during the second part of their original career, but which end up being often overlooked because of their huge pop hits of the day. “I Was There (And I’m Told I Had A Good Time)” is a somewhat tongue-in-cheek glance at their past.

Davy Jones is remembered here with his vocal on Neil Diamond’s Love To Live.” It may not be the album’s best track, but it is certainly its most poignant.

The Monkees had the wisdom to not try and create a masterpiece or even get too creative on this release. They just did what they do well and it equals Good Times for their fans.

Rating: B+

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