Rhino Records 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 or member Davy Jones.
I didn’t think Mickey Dolenz, Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork had it in them but they have channeled the 1960’s and created an excellent album of sunshine pop. It is not an album they covers new ground but it will 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 album 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 as befitting people entering their 70s 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 they were so good at producing during the second part of their original career but are 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 with his vocal on Neil Diamond’s Love To Live.” It may not be the albums best track but certainly it’s most poignant.
The Monkees had the wisdom to not try and create a masterpiece or even get too creative. They just did what they do well and it equals Good Times both for the title and their fans.