The Monkees, Good Times!, album review: 'Probably the band’s best album, after their hits compilation'
The Monkees’ modest promise of Good Times! is generously borne out in a series of songs custom-built by simpatico songwriters like Andy Partridge, Noel Gallagher, Paul Weller and Death Cab For Cutie’s Ben Gibbard.
In the sweetly wistful tones of Mike Nesmith, the latter’s “Me & Magdalena” is as cute as a button, while Gallagher and Weller pool their retro sensibilities for a miasmic swirl of psych-rock, “Birth Of An Accidental Hipster”, decked out in complex layered harmonies and counterpoints that confirm The Monkees - not unlike The Beach Boys, as it happens - knew how to nail their vocals, whatever madness was going down behind them.
The album is produced by Fountains Of Wayne’s Adam Schlesinger, who also chips in his own song “Our Own World”, which along with Partridge’s springy power-pop ode “You Bring The Summer” and Rivers (Weezer) Cuomo’s “She Makes Me Laugh”, keeps the updated Sixties vibe fresh and clear.
Not that it needs to, with a couple of uncovered, updated outtakes from that era linking seamlessly with the new material - especially the title-track, a punchy celebration reminiscent of “Last Train To Clarksville”, on which Mickey Dolenz gets to duet posthumously with its writer, Harry Nilsson.
All told, probably The Monkees’ best album, after their hits compilation.