Chronarchy (chronarchy) wrote,

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Oh, those wacky Christians are at it again!

Thanks to a good tip from wishesofastar, I found this: a Christian review of Jimmy Buffett's License to Chill

If you need the lyrics to see what they're talking about, see them on

My main comment on this review, though, can be summed up by quoting the author, and then quoting Jimmy, only slightly out of context:

Reviewer: "this CD finds him spiritually lost in a chronic midlife crisis full of bars, women and zero accountability."
Jimmy: "Well what the hell's wrong with that?"

FYI, here's a short run-down of my own impressions of the album:

01: "Hey Good Lookin'" - a re-visiting of a Hank Williams Sr. song, but timeless, really. And fun, espeicially as various singers pass off different portions of the song and come in unexpectedly.

02: "Boats to Build" - a high-point of the album, it's just a damn fine song. There are some things in life that need to be forgotten, some things that need to be changed. Why not do something worth-while, like building boats? Ever had a plan that was so perfect, so uncomplicated that it seemed to consume you? That's what this is all about. (find lyrics here)

03: "License to Chill" - This needs to be listened to after watching the short video that contains all the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition models. It's the only way to really understand the song. But he doesn't get it wrong about the girls. . . "So damn smart and cute. . ."

04: "Coast of Carolina" - Another song that's just. . . stellar. It gets at the meat of a lot of what Buffett means. Among most CoBO congregants, this song scores highest. It's about failure and getting broken down occasionally, but never letting it get you down. It's about the fact that things happen, that the past is hard to let go of, but sometimes you just gotta deal with it. But get it right in the end.

05: "Piece of Work" - Damn if this song didn't strike me as the idealized version of me. I'd love to be the man described in that song. "Wicked, holy, full on fake" reminds me of what I expect a holy man to be. "All over the map, just a-lost in space / With a filthy mind and a choirboy's face" is just what I'd like to be myself. "I'm a dreadful sight and I just don't care" describes me perfectly. When it comes right down to it, though, there's a specific line that caught my attention immediately: "Well, the lord made me on a long thin limb / Made sure I'd remember him / Or her in the middle of a long, dark night" I'll let you guess who the "her" is in my own interpretation.

06: "Anything, Anytime, Anywhere" - Eh, this is probably my least favourite song on the album, but then, who likes slow, plodding country love songs? But it does, in the end, describe what I think love should be like.

07: "Trip Around the Sun" - Never sing happy birthday to me again. Sing this instead. I love the way Martina's voice sounds with Jimmy's, and I love the message. It really is good to know that it's out of my control. It's good to know that no matter what, life isn't going to change if I let go. "Only time will tell if it was time well spent."

08: "Simply Complicated" - Boy, this must have pissed off the Christian reviewer mightily. The point of the song, though, is not that you married a cousin, that your daughter is playing football and your son is wearing her dresses, it's the fact that life is, in a word, "complicated", and damn it, no matter what, it's still worth living and it shouldn't drive you nuts. Hell, everyone's ship has a rudder, but no one has a freakin' map, so get over it and go with the current. Honestly, I think his ending (not listed in the lyrics, but basically he shouts "Oh, Shit!") is perfect, and it couldn't end any other way.

09: "Costal Confessions" - To me, this song is the highlight of the album. I'm a very visual person, and I found that every line brought a unique vision all its own, which eventually form into a single story. I see seagulls as holy men now, and I admit that I've sinned and would do it again. I'm "just an altarboy coverin' his ass", too. I'll dance till I fall. I'm in for the ride; laughter, tears, and scars included. The thing that got the Christian reviewer was this little bit at the very end: "42 years since my last confession. Well, father, do you have the rest of the week? Let's get started. I had impure thoughts. I smoked some pot. Stole some penut butter. Father? Wake up!" It's not the irreverence, but the honesty of it. What gets to me is the offhanded, "Well, I did this stuff, and I'm not ashamed. It happened, and I can't do anything about it at all." It's the way I've looked at life for a long time, and it sums it up well.

10: "Sea of Heartbreak" - Another slow love song, but not so bad as track six. I do, I admit, like singing along to it, but only if I don't see it coming (i.e. I'm zoning out in the car, and it comes on, and I'm half-way through it before I realize I've been singing.)

11: "Conky Tonkin'" - This is a song about two strangers who find a common ground in an instant and aim for adventure. It doesn't hurt that I've had a very similar adventure. I've had lunch on Key Largo. I've made a last minute decision on the 7-Mile Bridge. I've "seen the rest". It's all about exploring and living in the moment. Of course, there's the implication that they're just hooking up, but the song's not about that. It's all about experience.

12: "Playin' the Loser Again" - I love Bill's voice and how it works with Jimmy's. It's a really nice piece, and I know exactly what the man is asking in this song. All too well.

13: "Window on the World" - "Could you stand a little closer, girl?" sums it up. I like the imagery with the circus tent, and the absolute longing for the girl. It's all about making things up as you go along. And the line, "A broken promise I kept too long," always makes me think on something in particular, but it's a beautiful thought.

14: "Someone I Used to Love" - This song tends to make me think of someone. It's not about a lost love, but about a love you have now that you don't want to lose. It's highly optimistic, really, and reminds me of a wedding blessing. But it is a slow, country love song, which is annoying.

15: "Scarlet Begonias" - "Could be an illusion but I might as well try, might as well try." Damn straight. This one's a cover of the Greatful Dead song, and I really think that Jimmy's amazing at covering them. The song itself is about taking a chance on something that isn't really there, something that your imagining but is based in reality. More correctly, it's a fantasy about taking the chance. "Well, I ain't often right but I've never been wrong / Seldom turns out the way it does in a song. / Once in a while you get shown the light / In the strangest of places if you look at it right."

16: "Back to the Island" - Here's hoping that his next album will be half as good as this one, but it looks like he's headed back to the islands. It's time go home, and it's time to reflect. It's the end of a good day. Know what, though? There's always tomorrow.
Tags: amusement, buffett, reflections

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