Jimmy Buffett died Sept. 1 of this year. At the age of 76, the “Mayor of Margaritaville” died of Merkel cell carcinoma, a rare form of skin cancer, and his death left a margarita-shaped hole in all of our hearts. Joylessness overcame the world that day.
But Parrot Heads (the name of Jimmy Buffett’s fans) soon had reason to celebrate – the light at the end of the tunnel. Jimmy Buffett’s album, “Equal Strain On All Parts,” will be completed posthumously and released Nov. 3 for a fitting release for the singer-songwriter as he ascends to that tropical island in the sky.
Jimmy Buffett’s 50-year career includes 34 albums, two restaurant chains and an entire empire over alcohol-induced relaxation builtf one big hit: “Margaritaville.” Everything he does adds to his brand of island escapism, and even at the end of his life, his music is as irreverent as ever.
As the album cover shows, Buffett is lying in a hammock, wearing sunglasses and strumming the ukulele softly through gritted teeth.
It’s like you’re still with us. And if you need further proof that after more than 40 years Buffett hasn’t abandoned the ethos of “Margaritaville,” the album wastes no time in reminding you, opening with the jaunty “University Of Bourbon Street.”
Anti-higher education, pro-alcohol anthem. “It’s not really a mystery / I followed my dancin’ feet / to the University of Bourbon Street.” Festive backing from New Orleans’s Preservation Hall Jazz Band is a nice touch as well. It’s fortunate that Buffett didn’t run out of alcohol to write about before he died.
“Equal Strain On All Part” carries this same tone throughout its nearly one-hour running time. That’s what Buffett does best, after all.
He throws a few curveballs on the tracklist, such as “My Gummie Just Kicked In,” a fast-paced tropical-rock banger featuring none other than Sir Paul McCartney. “I don’t know where I’m going / I don’t know where I’ve been going / All I know for sure / Is my gum just gone,” he sings in the chorus.
While the song’s title is nothing new for Buffett — he launched his own line of weed back in 2019 — the way he leans into the song’s lyrics is pretty cool and worthy of a laugh, but maybe not a playlist addition.
Buffett really covers all his bases on this record. A high-pitched ballad that hopes “things will get better” with “Bubbles Up,” a song about a fish addict called “Fish Porn” and the unforgettable “Like My Dog,” a sad, hateful song.,” which is for all adults, retired men – Buffett’s main demographic – out there who just want their wives to bes quiet and submissive as a dog.
“He never said, ‘Why don’t you get off that sofa?’ / He doesn’t charge me anything if he wants to go out / I want you to love me like my dog.” Definitely not a good look for Buffett.
It would have been disappointing if Buffett hadn’t included a song mocking “kids these days,” but luckily, “Portugal Or PEI” has that.
According to Buffett, the youth must come down to TikTok and listen to the Rolling Stones instead, because, of course, that would solve many of the world’s problems.
Not to mention his cover of Noel Brazil’s “Columbus,” which is, at least unconsciously, it reduces the colonist Christopher Columbus to an open-eyed traveler with his “beautiful maps and charts”. It’s in the nose for Buffett, who did his fair share of colonization during his career with his “hot music”.
Buffett’s music hasn’t aged too well, but the singer’s infectious confidence and endearing personality really add up.
A lot of happiness to The world. He has lived a happy and successful life, and his music has achieved popular status due to its wide appeal to escape and have fun. Although there is a good thing what can you complain about this album, as long as it lives up to the reputation Buffett has built up over a lifetime, it qualifies as his last album.
The rest of this album is predictable from Buffett: his tribute to Johnny Hallyday, “Johnny’s Rhum;” his cover of Bob Dylan’s “Mozambique;” the drama “Hang Up the Phones.” Foluckily, there’s not much here to go into.
Ordinarily, that would be a bad thing, but anything else would be an unfair tribute to Buffett, who rode the same tropical sounds and revived tales of romance in paradise for decades.
It’s like the same cheap, throwaway escapism that had kids growing up everywhere drinking too much alcohol and celebrating the joys of being lucky., a carefree life.
“Equal Strain On All Part” is everything Jimmy Buffett stood for and stands for, making it a fitting end to his career. Rest in peace, Mayor of Margaritaville.