Jimmy Buffett’s musical legacy continues to thrive, even after his passing last week. While his classic songs will forever be cherished in music history, Buffett has left his fans with a parting gift: his final album, “Equal Strain on All Parts,” recorded earlier this year. This 14-track masterpiece is set to release on November 3rd and features a star-studded lineup of Buffett’s friends, including Paul McCartney, Emmylou Harris, Angelique Kidjo, Lennie Gallant, and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band.
True to his playful spirit, Buffett infused the album with his unique charm. The title, inspired by his grandfather’s description of a good nap, reflects his enduring sense of whimsy. Yet, amidst the playfulness, there’s room for introspection.
Among the three singles released last Friday, “Bubbles Up” stands out as a lyrical gem. In this track, Buffett cleverly uses a diving metaphor to convey a message of hope. As he sings with warm reflection accompanied by the soothing tones of a pedal steel guitar, he reminds us that even when our compass is spinning and we’re lost, the metaphorical bubbles will guide us home, reassuring us of love, light, and an abundance of joy.
In a press release about the album, Paul McCartney couldn’t help but praise Buffett’s vocal prowess, stating that the song was not only great but possibly the best he’d ever heard Jimmy sing.
McCartney, along with his wife Nancy, also contributes to the lively rocker “My Gummie Just Kicked In,” named after an amusing incident during a party at Buffett’s house. Here, Buffett, always a champion of the good life, exudes merriment as he reflects on the alluring state he finds himself in, with McCartney skillfully handling the bass duties.
Of the three new songs, “Like My Dog” is the most characteristically whimsical. This track serves as a heartfelt tribute to the joys of canine companionship, a subject close to Buffett’s heart as a lifelong dog lover. With steel drums setting the tone, Buffett compares the unwavering loyalty of a dog to a romantic relationship, humorously noting that a dog would never ask for money or inquire about late-night outings.
Jimmy Buffett may have left us on September 1st after a courageous battle with Merkel cell skin cancer, but his musical journey lives on. “Equal Strain on All Parts” marks his 32nd studio album in a legendary career that continues to inspire and delight fans around the world.