A fun but nonessential album for Wonder Years fans
Daniel Jolley | Shelby, North Carolina USA | 09/28/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Volume 2 of The Wonder Years collection, Good Friends, Good Times, speaks to the happy memories of all the fun shared with childhood friends, but I consider it the weakest of the five CDs in this collection. These songs evoke no vivid memories of The Wonder Years episodes in my mind, nor do most of them reflect the very spirit of my own memories of all the good times spent with Kevin, Paul, and Winnie. The album certainly does start off with a tune of joyous camaraderie, though, in the form of the infectiously uplifting United We Stand by the Brotherhood of Man. It also closes quite impressively, with Joe Cocker's version of The Beatles' With a Little Help From My Friends (which served as the series' theme song). In between, there's just a hodge podge of different sounds and styles. Donovon's acoustic Catch the Wind bears some similarity to Bob Dylan in style and sound, making it one of my favorite songs on this album. I also get a kick out of blues legend Muddy Waters' Hoochie Coochie Man and Chuck Berry's Johnny B. Goode. Others may well enjoy The Champs' Tequila and The Surfaris' Wipeout, although I personally count these among the most annoying songs ever recorded. When it comes down to it, this CD just seems to lack something important, and its disjointed assembly of songs has little to do emotionally with The Wonder Years television series. Even the two original compositions by Snuffy Walden seem to lack focus and meaning. Certainly, there are several good songs to be found here, but I definitely rate this volume of The Wonders Years albums lower than its counterparts."