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The Monkees: Justus

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Album: Justus
Label: Rhino

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There's no real harm in yet another Monkees reunion; it's not like anyone will be disillusioned by the band members (including Mike Nesmith this time) deciding to cash in on eternal name recognition for a new album—just in time for The Monkees' 30th anniversary. Besides, it worked for about 15 minutes in the 1980s, right? Well, it sure doesn't work on Justus, a faceless pop-rock record that sounds suspiciously like the work of a bunch of fiftysomething dads. The fact that Nesmith ("The Talented Monkee") is recording with the group for the first time in 20 years doesn't help: His bile-filled "Admiral Mike" (an out-of-place rant about ad salesmen) disrupts the nostalgia trip without offering anything particularly musical or lyrically revelatory. Justus is bland, bland stuff, and it deserves the commercial indifference that sank the band's forgotten post-comeback flop Pool It! in the late '80s.