License to Chill


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Bob Smithouser
Loren Eaton

Album Review

Pro-Social Content

Buffett wants to relax and enjoy life (“Trip Around the Sun” with Martina McBride). On “Anything, Anytime, Anywhere” he assures a special lady, “Tell me what you need/I will surely come through.” Sailboats are a metaphor for unfulfilled dreams the singer is ready to pursue (“Boats to Build” with Alan Jackson). Amid sober reflections, a man claims to have learned from his mistakes on “Scarlet Begonias.”

Objectionable Content

The irreverent “Coastal Confessions” finds a cocky, unrepentant man prattling to a priest about impure thoughts and marijuana use, saying, “Bless me father/Yes, I have sinned/Given the chance I’ll probably do it again.” Strangers have a fling that involves cruising bars and buying a thong (“Conky Tonkin” with Clint Black). With bad-boy aplomb, the spiritually confused Buffett calls himself a “Piece of Work” (a Toby Keith duet). Aided by Kenny Chesney on the title track, he misuses Jesus’ name, ogles half-naked women and calls his boss a jerk. Profanities mar several cuts. Beyond an s-word, “Simply Complicated” imagines receiving perverse news about family members.

Summary Advisory

It’s been 27 years since “Margaritaville,” and Buffett still lives for the weekends. A few positive moments aside, this CD finds him spiritually lost in a chronic midlife crisis full of bars, women and zero accountability.

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Bob Smithouser
Loren Eaton