Hey hey they’re the Monkees! And weirdly enough, this ain’t no reissue: Good Times! is a brand new studio record from the classic 60’s pop boys. The tracklisting is star-studded with guest writers, from Rivers Cuomo to Noel Gallagher to Paul Weller, plus some old previously-unrecorded songs by Harry Nilsson, Carole King et al. On Rhino.
Vinyl LP £15.49 0081227947354
180g vinyl LP on Rhino. Includes sticker insert.
I've just lurched from reviewing the latest Huerco S album of distilled ambience straight into the prefab pop of these now seriously ageing 1960s telly favourites.
There was always more to the Monkees than cavorting about on tv of course and this (what must be their) swan song LP has been tastefully created by including covers of songs by all your modern day slightly left of centre pop people. The highlight is undoubtedly XTC's Andy Partidge's ecstatic 'You Bring The Summer' and it's fabulous to hear the old boy steal the thunder on some much bigger names with such a feel good slice of pop jangle. Two of those aforementioned bigger names are Paul Weller and Noel Gallagher's 'Birth of an Accidental Hipster' which has some alarmingly good hooks married to the sense of trying just a bit too hard to recreate those crazy Monkees hey day with the sort of tempo changes that only could happen in the 1960's. Yet this is better than you could ever imagine.
Weezer's Rivers Coumos provides the nice Hermans Hermits like naive pop of 'She Makes Me Laugh' and there's a lovely lilting contribution from Ben Gibbard. Like Glen Campbell's last couple of records this shows the benefit of welding well chosen songs onto a classic artist and even if this doesn't seem entirely plausibly the Monkees (Mike Nesmith as is his wont generally stays away bar the odd guest appearance and the late Davy Jones is only there posthumously) it is still a very good record and a great way to bow out.
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