The Monkees enjoyed a major resurgence (particularly in America) in the mid-80s, with their 60s albums being re-released, their TV show in syndication, and a major tour being undertaken. All this was mostly without Mike Nesmith, as was this release, The Monkees' first album of completely new material in seventeen years.
And some things never change. Nearly all the instruments are performed by session players, while the songs, bar two (one by Peter Tork, one by Davy Jones) are composed by outside writers.
Unfortunately, those outside writers are not the ones who wrote so many wonderful ditties in the band's heyday, instead they are the type who preferred a collection of tedious, forgettable pop in which to stick the trio's vocals.
At first, it seems like Dolenz will do the uptempo tracks, Jones the saccharine ballads, and Tork the quirky stuff, but - by the album's second half - it's apparent that Jones is not only seen as someone who can sing bland, slow love songs - "Every Step of the Way" shows he can do bland rock as well.
Really, the only tracks of any real note here are "(I'd Go The) Whole Wide World", a song written by English songwriter Wreckless Eric in 1974, which was never a hit for him, but is sung with gusto by Dolenz here, and Tork's self-written "Gettin' In", which at least is a bit of an interesting curio.
The really sad thing about Pool It
is that, with their knack for melodious and memorable pop so well demonstrated many moons ago, The Monkees really could've fit into this particular decade for a while. Maybe they came back just a bit too late. Or maybe, as I alluded to, the writers sucked. But for whatever reason, the album was an opportunity missed, and that's a real shame. Rated:
by Reviewer: The Doctor