Jimmy Buffett - "License to Chill" Feb 26, 2015 17:05:25 GMT -5
Post by StevePulaski on Feb 26, 2015 17:05:25 GMT -5
License to Chill (2004)
By: Jimmy Buffett
By: Jimmy Buffett
Just the album cover of Jimmy Buffett's License to Chill makes me want to embrace him, his music, and nicer weather. His laidback appearance, comfortable getup, and lax persona makes me want to make my annual vacation to Lake Geneva a few months earlier this year. License to Chill marks the album when Buffett began to resurface as a country singer after not laying dormant for several years but definitely in more of a career slump than his restaurant chain and hit several hit singles would've suggested. Following frequent collaborations with the likes of Kenny Chesney and, more notably, the success of duets with Alan Jackson on "Margaritaville" and the terrific "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere," both of which garnering mainstream attention, Buffett saw an opportunity and took it with License to Chill.
Be grateful he did because License to Chill serves as some of his finest work and a wonderfully refreshing album that makes for a good substitute if the weather's not cooperating with your outdoor plans. Buffett opens, however, on a stranger note, covering the terrific Hank Williams' ditty "Hey Good Lookin'" with Alan Jackson, Kenny Chesney, Clint Black, Toby Keith, and George Strait. The barrage of artists makes for one cluttered track, but, through some obscure miracle, the song checks out and serves as a delightful contemporary cover. Buffett cycles through all the country emotions with a wonderfully laidback aura, giving us the humorous tune "Simply Complicated" about the moments in life that have you speechless, "Coast of Carolina," a slower-paced track with Buffett on an acceptable crooner level, "Piece of Work," a rowdier but still steady-paced track with the talents of Toby Keith coming in for the perfect measure, and "Sea of Heartbreak," a great little heartbreak, again, made more than interchangeable thanks to Buffett's personality and the supporting talents of George Strait.
For an album that's sixteen tracks and a style that can grow tiresome relatively fast (we saw it most recently on Kenny Chesney's latest release The Big Revival), it's shocking how little Buffett missteps. He creates an album that's a breezy listen, but not one that isn't substantial or unremarkable. He has a lot of fun with the album, returning to his own, beach-driven ways and means of relaxation, with the flow of his songs (and the entire album in general) ebbing with a sense of tranquility. Even the rowdier tunes, like "Piece of Work" and Scarlet Begonias," can barely be called rowdy but bear just enough of an edge atypical to the remainder of the album to be called so.
Buffett's personality and easy-going charm carry this album to commendable heights, and License to Chill is an underrated collection of some of the best songs I've heard from this particular subgenre of country music. It's a subgenre that leaves me weary in mass amounts, but even at about an hour, this particular fix is never a burden and, like a vacation, a rousing good time on most levels.
Recommended tracks (in order): "Simply Complicated," "Coast of Carolina," "Piece of Work," ""Scarlet Begonias," "Sea of Heartbreak," and "Hey Good Lookin'."