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Saturday June 15th

From tropical rhythms to timeless legacies: Jimmy Buffett's final album, ‘Equal Strain On All Parts’

<p><em>Buffett’s final album, “Equal Strain on All Parts,” is a testament to his unwavering essence and passion spanning over five decades. </em>(<em>Photo courtesy of </em><a href="https://music.apple.com/us/artist/jimmy-buffett/61232" target=""><em>Apple Music</em></a>)</p>

Buffett’s final album, “Equal Strain on All Parts,” is a testament to his unwavering essence and passion spanning over five decades. (Photo courtesy of Apple Music)

By Jasmine Lee
Staff Writer

Jimmy Buffett has consistently stayed loyal to his tropical, country-influenced style. His feel-good, yet bittersweet, final album, “Equal Strain on All Parts,” keeps Buffettt’s spirit alive. 

Buffett’s final studio release, completed before his death on Sept.1, dropped on Nov. 3. The album includes 14 tracks, with collaborations from Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Angelique Kidjo, Will Kimbrough, Lennie Gallant and Emmylou Harris. Anyone who listens will detect Buffett’s essence and passion resonate through this album. 

As reported by Variety, Buffett managed to release a total of 30 studio albums throughout his life since 1970. His signature sound has remained unwavering since he embarked on his musical journey with the release of his first album, “Down to Earth.” 

In 1974, Buffett’s track “Come Monday,” from his fourth studio album “Living and Dying in ¾ Time,” made its debut on the Billboard charts, ultimately reaching the 30th spot. Then, in 1977, he released “Margaritaville,” an easygoing anthem celebrating a carefree island lifestyle. The song enjoyed an impressive 22-week run on the Billboard chart, reaching a peak position of No. 8, propelling Jimmy Buffett into the national spotlight, according to Buffett’s website.

Following these early successes, let's delve into some of the standout tracks from Buffett’s latest album. Some of the ones that particularly resonate with me are “University Of Bourbon Street,” “Bubbles Up,” “My Gummie Just Kicked In,” “Equal Strain On All Parts'' and “Mozambique.”

Buffett has a knack for kicking off an album in style, and he pulls out all the stops with the opening track, “University of Bourbon Street.” The unmistakable jazz vibes come to life, courtesy of the illustrious Preservation Hall Jazz Band, whose lineup boasts an impressive array of instruments: tuba, clarinet, drums, trombone, saxophone and piano. This tune bursts forth with a lively infusion of New Orleans flavor, drawing inspiration from the vibrant sounds of the city.

“Bubble Up” is the next track, filling you with hope. The acoustic notes, a gentle guitar strum and drum beats create a soothing melody. It might bring a tear to your eye, touching on seeking refuge when life feels overwhelming. It’s like a warm, reassuring message from Buffett, reminding us that even if our ship falters, a little saltwater heals all wounds and things will be alright.

“My Gummie Just Kicked In” transports you to a lively scene, sure to get you dancing. Backed by Paul McCartney's killer bassline and spirited drum beats, this track keeps the energy high. It spins a tale of an unexpected twist at a summer dinner party, where some accidental edibles led to carefree antics and endless laughter. Get ready for a musical adventure!

Next up is “Equal Strain On All Parts,” which passes down a grandfather’s wisdom. This song is a celebration of finding a healthy balance between various aspects of life. No matter what direction life takes you, whether your path is ordinary or extraordinary, finding your footing and being kind to your mind and body is key. This advice from Buffett’s grandfather is not only something he wants his audience to remember but has played a foundation in his journey throughout life.

“Mozambique” is like a postcard from Buffett’s musical paradise, bringing you back to his familiar, soul-soothing style. The song paints a vivid picture of a romantic escape to Mozambique, where steelpan drums and guitar create a tropical melody that transports you to the shores under clear blue skies. Buffett and Harris join their voices in perfect harmony, weaving a love story that unfolds in the warm embrace of sunshine, with sweet nothings exchanged in hushed tones. It’s a musical moment that captures the magic of two hearts entwined, sharing their love under the Mozambican sun.

Simply put, an album can’t capture all that Buffett’s life and music have meant to countless souls. He’ll forever dance in conga lines, bridging tiki bars and the celestial seas and skies. His legacy is a melody that resonates beyond the confines of any record.




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