Saturday, January 23, 2010

A Review of "License to Chill" by Jimmy Buffett

First, let me start by saying I am no music critic but I am a huge Jimmy Buffett fan.  Parrothead? Not sure I qualify yet, but I am well on my way. I love his music. It has always just been fun and relaxing to listen to. My Dad loved "Son of a Son of a Sailor" and my appreciation of his music goes way back.

I recently purchased Buffett Hotel and quickly was reminded of just how much I love all things Buffett. I have listened to this CD so much I know most of the words by heart. Especially "Wings", really a great fun and catchy.  I probably listen to it at least twice a day as I drive around town.

Anyway, this lead an old friend of mine, who writes the blog: You Just Keep on Believing That (hey, two links in one week, did I lose another bet??) to recommend which CD I should buy next. I've known Shane for about 14 years (was going to insert an old picture here, but they are being rather elusive and I can't put my hands on any, probably a good thing!) and therefore he has a pretty good idea of what I would like. He proved this fact by recommending I buy License to Chill. I cannot believe I didn't already own this CD. It is classic Mandy. He then told me which songs he liked best and which ones I would like. Well, let me just say, I put Coast of Carolina on and it has now become my most favorite song. Ever. Every so often a song comes around that just speaks to you. That is the case for me and "Coast of Carolina". I can't even put into words what this song means to me or how it touched me. I read that it was a Valentine from Buffett to his wife, Jane. That would explain a lot as you can feel the emotion behind this song. Perhaps that is why it just touched me to my core, perhaps it's something else. I just know this is a powerful song.

However, that could almost be said for this entire CD. There is just so much to like about it. I enjoy a wide variety of music, however, I lean most towards country. When I bought this CD I, of course, noticed there are several duets with country singers, but just assumed they would sound more Caribbean, not that Buffett would sound more country. I haven't decided which it is. I think it is a very well blended sound. It is classic Buffett from his roots, yet,  just a great meshing of Caribbean meets Nashville.

Another great love song from this offering is "Anything Anytime Anywhere" . Here's a sample lyric: 

Tomorrow may come. It usually does.
Don't know what it brings for the two of us,
I just want you to know what I'm ready to do, 
Anything, anytime, anywhere for you...

Wow. Another speak to your soul kinda song. I don't have much else to say about this one, pretty much summed it up with that lyric.

Playing the Loser Again reminds me of classic Merle Haggard. It's just a good 'ol get drunk and drown your sorrows kinda song. How can you not love it??

Boats to Build with Alan Jackson just seamlessly picks up where "It's 5 o'clock Somewhere" left off. It's classic Alan Jackson. These two make beautiful music together. (*side note, "5 o'clock Somewhere" was one of my Dad's favorite songs and sayings.  The memory cards from his visitation had "It's 5 o'clock Somewhere" written inside of them. We felt it was quite fitting.)

Back to the Island is another of my favorites from this album. Another good drink your sorrows away kinda song...

Window on the World is a fun classic Buffett song. Love the line, "A broken promise I kept too long". Who can't relate to these songs in one way or another?

Coastal Confessions is so fun. It really is hilarious and has one of the best endings to any song. That is also true for Simply Complicated.

Scarlet Begonias was apparently one of Buffett's Mom's favorite songs. It, again, is a fun song.

Ok, then there's Someone I Used to Love. My second favorite from this CD. Sample lyric:
This current flows between us
That will not be denied
You draw me in towards you
Like the Moon pulls the tide
May no Shadow ever fall
that will make me have to call
You someone I used to love
The soulful sound of Nanci Griffith just adds so much heart and feeling to this song. It's a great love song. 

I find this selection of songs from Jimmy Buffett to be just a great drinking, reflective CD. There are a range of emotions in these songs, and they all are so heartfelt. Buffett sings these songs with such feeling you can't help but be sucked into what he must have been thinking or feeling as he sang them. They are songs from the heart, the soul, the very core. Even the lighthearted songs from this collection come from experience, or at least they come across that way. Buffett has a way of singing songs that sounds like he is telling you a story. You can pick any song from this CD and I bet you have a story to go along with it. They are just so easy to relate to. That is probably why I have always liked music like this. Buffett, like Harry Chapin and James Taylor, to me, are very good story tellers. You can imagine yourself on a beach somewhere, toes in the sand, beer (or margarita) in hand just watching the waves lap around you as you kick back, listen to the music, and let your mind wander to fond memories or how this song sums up some moment in your life. This CD, as the title says, is your "License to Chill". 


Will Shealy said...

Nicely put! It's clear you love Buffett, and I love your comparisons, though I don't know very much about some of the artists mentioned (the Country ones - aside from Merle of course).

I'll have to give this one a listen - which I likely wouldn't have, had I not read this. Thanks for the heads-up!

Doc said...

And you claim that you are no music critic? Great review and well written. Are you a Parrothead... not quite maybe one in training (but we are working on you!) you are a houghtful and creative writer though.
Yes I knew from your tastes that this particular Jimmy Buffett album would speak to you and I guess it really has. Brother jimmy likes to joke on stage that he has had several "failed country music careers" and thanks Alan Jackson for giving him his really "big break" and License to Chill came subsequently. Of course we mostly love different songs which is one reason music is great however Coast of Carolina is quite poinant as you say. Jimmy's wife is from Chareston. This song is sort of a present to her a follow up to the older songs Honey Do (which you may want to listen to sometime) and Come Monday which you probably have heard.
Another bit about this song you may not know is about "Groovy" Or Jimmy's college roomate and fellow Key West pilot named Larry something. Groovey is in the song but has since passed away and in honor oh him Jimmy named his sailboat Groovy.
Yesterday afternoon when you put up your FB status saying you were frustrated that you couldn't find an old photo album I almost responded "I still own that pink shirt" but thought that would be presumptions... I wish I had.. and I did this morning.
You need to write more music reviews... nice work. I think I will burn a few Buffett live CDs for you so you can really get the feel of what it's all about.

Darkwulfe said...

I have never actually been a big Fuffet fan...all though I do like his style...and also I appreciate the fact that he has been an influence on keeping Kenny Chesney from becoming a total "pop diva" like Tim McGraw. You said something about the cd that I liked and wanted to comment on. You said it was a good drinking CD. I am a light drinker, and don't drink often (frankly not as often as I would like) but I have always said...if you can drink to it...then it has to be pretty damn good. Very good post and great review...what is the link to your local paper where your reviews are posted? :-P jk

Evil Twin's Wife said...

I'm a punk/hard rock/indie/underground fan, so no Buffet for me. But, I loved the review. Very interesting. I actually want to hear some of the songs now! :-)

Mandy said...

Wow, you all sure know how to flatter a girl!

Will-give a listen to a few of those I recommended, I feel pretty sure you will find one or 2 you like.

Doc-Thank you. Wow. You have never been one to hand out praise with the wind, so when you do it truly means something. Really, thanks. As far as the photos, I had a few, but can't find that damn album. I am pretty sure it's around here somewhere, though. Funny you knew that is what I was looking for yesterday. I guess I had forgotten you had a copy. The pink shirt, though? Really, you still have it? Too, funny...I did listen to Honey Do, I like it and I have Come Monday on my MP3 player. I would love for you to burn some CD's for me. I have a lot of catching up to do and would like to hear some live stuff. Thanks for getting me back on the band wagon.

Wulfey-Link to my local paper? Thanks...makes a girl is a great drinking CD, but, really, aren't most Buffett CD's??

ETW-Thank you. I toyed with this review off and on all day until I practically have it memorized! Wasn't sure about it. At all. Take a listen to one of two of those songs when you have a wine in your hand and see what you think...or better yet this summer when we're at the beach, toes in the sand, THEN I'll play a few for you, really get the whole picture!


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