The Monkees’ new album is ‘Good Times!’ It’s their first new album in 20 years and its release coincides with the iconic 1960s band’s 50th anniversary tour. Now the critics are weighing in and you can see a roundup of reviews right here.
The band began in 1966, improbably on TV, with a eponymous weekly sitcom. This was long before the rise of reality television and even several years before another band that got its start as a TV show, The Partridge Family.
What could have been just a proverbial footnote of television history has instead become a band that’s endured for half a century and the surviving members of the original lineup are celebrating with both this new album and the tour. The band was once a quartet, comprised of Micky Dolenz, Peter Tork, Mike Nesmith as well as Davy Jones who died in 2012.
Their most recent album ‘JustUs’ was released in 1996; so long ago that fans might have thought that might have been it, and that hopes for new music were just that, the stuff of wishes and hopes and dreams.
It was Rolling Stone which broke the news earlier this year of the album and the tour, confirming the rumors and revealing some tantalizing tidbits — notably the stellar array of collaborators Noel Gallagher, Rivers Cuomo, and Ben Gibbard.
And now a few months later we’ve gone from rumors to reality to plenty of positive reviews for the’Good Times!’ album. In a recent interview with the publication, Micky Dolenz said of the critical acclaim, “”We’re all flying high with the buzz.” Peter Tork said, “It was the most fun I’ve ever had making a record.”
Yes, critics have been mostly applauding this long-awaited new album from the band that over the years — despite long hiatuses — has racked up around 75 million in record sales worldwide. Here’s what they’re saying about the latest.
“…..The surviving Monkees seize their moment as songwriters, perhaps to prove they were underrated. “Little Girl,” by Mr. Tork, is a wandering, eccentric waltz that would have been at home in the late 1960s, and “I Know What I Know,” by Mr. Nesmith, testifies to love and vulnerability over simple piano chords. But the Monkees want to leave their listeners with the band’s lighthearted essence. …..” – The New York Times
“….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. ….” — The Independent
“….At first blush, the album is an exercise in seeing how well the modern songwriters could do in bringing The Monkees’ creative peak back to life. All of them come fairly close but understandably can’t get past themselves in the process. Every song bears the obvious marks of these support players’ day jobs. […]
The album also allows the individual Monkees to show off their songwriting acumen in small doses. Surprisingly, those are the songs that take on the most emotional resonance upon deeper dives into the album…..” — Consequence of Sound
“….Micky looks at the past not with sad reverence but with a smile, happy that he was there and happy to be able to sing about it still, and that’s the vibe of Good Times!: it was a blast to live it then and it’s a blast to relive those times too. ….” — All Music
“….It nails the classic summer-jangle Monkees sound, with seriously fantastic new tunes from Rivers Cuomo, Andy Partridge and the none-more-mod squad of Noel Gallagher and Paul Weller. Micky Dolenz, Mike Nesmith and the mighty Peter Tork are all in top shape–their voices have aged as handsomely as they have…..” –Rolling Stone
It’s official now. Having gone from speculation to reality, and for veteran fans, a nostalgic trip and for new fans, quite a discovery. You can see The Monkees’ ‘Good Times!’ album cover and music videos below!