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License to Chill

License to Chill

4.0 13
by Jimmy Buffett

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Much is going to be made of the big-name duets and guest shots on Jimmy Buffett's engaging License to Chill, and rightly so. A swinging take on Hank Williams's "Hey Good Looking" gives a rousing turn not only to Buffett but also to his buddies Clint Black, Alan Jackson, Toby


Much is going to be made of the big-name duets and guest shots on Jimmy Buffett's engaging License to Chill, and rightly so. A swinging take on Hank Williams's "Hey Good Looking" gives a rousing turn not only to Buffett but also to his buddies Clint Black, Alan Jackson, Toby Keith, Kenny Chesney, and George Strait. All of these guests return for duets with Buffett, the standouts being a lilting, tropical version -- complete with steel drums and Jackson on board -- of Guy Clark's "Boats to Build"; the rocking title track with Chesney; and an atmospheric, moody rendition of Don Gibson's classic "Sea of Heartbreak," with Strait, that supplants Gibson's intense desperation with a resigned acceptance of fate's moving hand. As for the ladies, both Martina McBride and Nanci Griffith make notable appearances -- McBride sounds especially gripping on Buffett's meditation on mortality, "Trip Around the Sun." And it's always good to hear from soul man Bill Withers, who makes two appearances here: collaborating and dueting on a bluesy lament, "Playin' the Loser Again," and teaming as a writer with Buffett on "Simply Complicated," a witty two-step about life's little trials. But it would be foolhardy to overlook Buffett's solo performances -- some of his finest ever -- on some splendid original songs. The funky "Coastal Confessions" finds our man musing philosophically and lightheartedly about the daily grind and an uncertain future, but the real gem is the beautiful, mid-tempo love song "Coast of Carolina," which rivals "Come Monday" in its simple, elegant lyrics and heartfelt sentiments concerning the allure of true love. Buffett's been doing good work for a long time, but this one'll send chills down your spine.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Early in the 2000s, Jimmy Buffett experienced one of his periodic revivals thanks to the legions of contemporary country singers indebted to his sunny, relaxed party music. His influence had been bubbling under during the latter half of the '90s, but in 2003 he suddenly was front and center, performing a duet with Alan Jackson on the "Margaritaville"-styled smash "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere," while echoes of his music were clearly heard in country's first superstar of the new millennium, Kenny Chesney. Never one to miss an opportunity -- or, as he puts it in the liner notes, "not being one to let a cultural phenomenon pass me by like a misguided comet" -- Buffett decided to go the whole hog and record his own country album, License to Chill, for the summer of 2004. He calls in a lot of favors here, drafting Jackson, Chesney, Toby Keith, Clint Black, George Strait, Martina McBride, Nanci Griffith, and, for a change of pace, Bill Withers, for duets on this generous 16-track album. Usually, such a surplus of guest stars overwhelms the main artist, but that isn't the case here, since everybody bends to fit Buffett's style instead of the reverse. These guests not only give Buffett a straight man for his jokes, but also help focus his musical direction and song selection, since it all feeds into the album's sun-kissed contemporary country direction. Musically, this isn't all that far removed from either his early-'70s work or "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere," which is hardly a surprise, but what is surprising is that it's one of the most enjoyable latter-day albums from this notoriously inconsistent artist. There are still some overly silly, even embarrassing moments, such as the frequent tossed-off puns and the cringe-inducing "Simply Complicated," but these are the exceptions on this cheery collection of laid-back country-rockers and beach ballads. Again, the difference on License to Chill isn't the music, but the consistency of the songwriting and the performances, resulting not only in Buffett's strongest record in years, but an album that sits comfortably next to that new Kenny Chesney album, and that means he accomplished exactly what he set out to do.

Product Details

Release Date:
Mailboat Records


  1. Hey Good Lookin' @@Clint Black, Kenny Chesney, Alan Jackson, Toby Keith, and George Strait
  2. Boats to Build @@Alan Jackson
  3. License to Chill @@Kenny Chesney
  4. Coast of Carolina
  5. Piece of Work @@Toby Keith
  6. Anything, Anytime, Anywhere
  7. Trip Around the Sun @@Martina McBride
  8. Simply Complicated
  9. Coastal Confessions
  10. Sea of Heartbreak @@George Strait
  11. Conky Tonkin' @@Clint Black
  12. Playin' the Loser Again @@Bill Withers
  13. Window on the World
  14. Someone I Used to Love @@Nanci Griffith
  15. Scarlet Begonias
  16. Back to the Island

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Jimmy Buffett   Primary Artist,Guitar,Vocals
Clint Black   Vocals
Nanci Griffith   Vocals
George Strait   Vocals
Anderson   Guitar
Bill Withers   Vocals
Ralph MacDonald   Percussion
Buddy Owen   Vocals
Eric Darken   Percussion,Guest Appearance
Sonny Landreth   Guitar
Toby Keith   Vocals
Bekka Bramlett   Background Vocals
Tony Brown   Keyboards
Kenny Chesney   Vocals
Stuart Duncan   Fiddle,Guest Appearance
Robert Greenidge   Timbales,Steel Drums
Doyle Grisham   Pedal Steel Guitar
Roger Guth   Drums
Alan Jackson   Vocals
J.L. Jamison   Percussion,Drums,Vocals
Mac McAnally   Guitar,Mandolin,Vocals,Background Vocals
Bill Payne   Keyboards
Jim Photoglo   Background Vocals
Michael Ramos   Vocals
Nadirah Shakoor   Background Vocals
Harry Stinson   Background Vocals
Mike Utley   Vocals
Glenn Worf   Bass Guitar
Michael Utley   Keyboards
Will Kimbrough   Guitar
Chris Walsh   Vocals
Wes Hightower   Background Vocals
Stan Kellam   Vocals
Rachel Wilson   Background Vocals
Tim Bender   Vocals
Doug Breidenbach   Guitar
Buster Somar   Harmonica,Guest Appearance

Technical Credits

Guy Clark   Composer
Verlon Thompson   Composer
Anderson   Composer
John Farrar   Engineer
Paul Hampton   Composer
Stephen Bruton   Composer
Hal David   Composer
J.L. Jamison   Studio Manager,Drum Technician
Mac McAnally   Producer
Chris Stone   Engineer
Sharon Vaughn   Composer
Hank Williams   Composer
Michael Utley   Producer,Audio Production
Will Kimbrough   Composer
Rodney Gnoinsky   Engineer,Computer Editing
Alan Schulman   Engineer
Sam Farrar   Engineer
Charlie Hood   Representation
Stan Kellam   Video Director

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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License to Chill 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've just played this album for the first time. It's unlikely to get played again. What the heck happened here?, Jimmy used to be a storyteller, alas, no more it seems. This album is indistinguishable from the rest of the mindlesss dreck Nashville churns out every week. To quote a line from one of his earlier songs, "it was too much tequila or not quite enough". In the case of "Licence To Chill", definitely the latter.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i thought it was good cd. i just started really gettin into jimmy buffett and i think hes awesome. so i bought this cd and its a little different from his other cds but i liked it and i do like country.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Jimmy started out as a country singer. Now he has returned. However, I hope it is not for long. I really do enjoy this album especially Coastal Confessions and my favorite Scarlet Begonias. With this album I have even turned my wife into a Parrothead. But she is a die hard country listener.
Guest More than 1 year ago
While I enjoyed Jimmy parroting up with George Strait, Clint Black, and Martina, what really gave me a license to chill was Jimmy doing Scarlet Begonias. Welcome Jimmy as a DEADHEAD!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the CD...many guest vocal preformances by top country singers. A little bit slower than some of his other works, License To Chill is just that. I enjoyed it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Love it to death. Love country music, love Buffett, I myself live in Key West so life is good and so is this CD. Boot scootin, finger snappin, smile wearin time to be had by all.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a VERY long-time Parrothead, I can only say to the rest of the world--welcome aboard! Where ya been?! We've been following Jimmy forever and are not surprised all these country singers are jumping on his bandwagon. This CD is giving Buffett fans a chance to hear "the new kids on the block," rather than the other way around! :)
Guest More than 1 year ago
License to Chill...Jimmy Buffett It seems as if Mr. Buffett has come full-circle with the writing, recording and release of his most recent album, License to Chill. This album is certainly not the 100% island-feel to which Parrotheads have become accustomed. Buffett teams with Country Music’s biggest stars including Martina McBride, Clint Black, Kenny Chesney and Alan Jackson to create a 16-track album worth many praises. Some have criticized him for not sticking with one specific genre in his music. In Simply Compicated, Buffett jokes (Am I country, pop, or rock'n'roll, I know they are related. I'll just let you be the judge it's simply complicated) Others believe Buffett is not the same “story-teller” he used to be. While I these folks are entitled to their opinions, Costal of Carolina may just prove them wrong. This modern-day Come Monday seems to be an ode to his wife Jane. This couple has been reported to have a somewhat bumpy start but have finally made their marriage work for two decades. Buffett proclaims (From the bottom of my heart Off the coast of Carolina After one or two false starts I believe we found our stride And the walls that won't come down We can decorate or climb Or find some way to get around Cause I'm still on your side From the bottom of my heart.) This album is chalked-full of classic Buffett-irony and playful puns. If you’re in the mood for Gypsies in the Palace meets Math Sucks, check out Simply Complicated. Buffett obviously sees Costal Confessions similarity to Come Monday and tosses a shameless plug right into the song (There come a lot of Mondays Since that phone booth that first night Tears and miles and years and smiles I wanna get it right.) Buffett began his musical career in Nashville recording A White Sport Coat and a Pink Crustacean, so it’s not surprising that he went back to his roots with the album. Nearly all of the songs are a joy to listen to. He and Alan Jackson team-up on Boats to Build…a beautiful slower song that fits Jimmy perfectly. It reminds me of the “I’d rather be sailing” bumper stickers. Martina McBride lends vocals to Trip Around the Sun, an ode to growing older (but probably not growing up, as Jimmy is famous for proclaiming in earlier songs). Personally, the biggest disappointment on the album has to be Anything, Anytime, Anywhere. In this song, Buffett writes, (When I'm holding you tight, you give me the power To burn like a torch in the darkest hour Tell me what you need I will surely come through Anything, anytime, anywhere For you). It seems much too slow and drawn out for him. Most of the stanza’s end in an unpleasant shot at octaves much too high for Buffett’s voice. Overall, the album’s tracks are much like his previous releases of Savannah Fare You Well (Far Side of the World) and Semi-True Story (Beach House on the Moon). If you like that type of “Buffett,” give the album a shot. Hope this review helps.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Fans of Jimmy Buffet will be a little surprised; as was I. I was expecting the same old island feel from the past, when all I got was a 'Ho Down.' Jimmy still can sing with the best of them though, even for a country singer.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm 16 years old and have been a die hard parrot head since I can remember thanks to me parents. My very first concert ever was not NSync (actually that was my second one..) but it was Mr. Buffet himself when I was eight years old. The very first song I learned to sing was Cheeseburger in Paradise which to this day remins my favorite song. When I heard Hey Good Lookin on the radio and learned that he was comming out with a new CD i got extatic. Not only am I a Buffet fan but also a country fan so naturally I had to run out on the first day and get the CD. My first impression was a little skeptical but after listening to the CD accouple times I have new opinions on it. Hey Good Lookin is the perfect single to release his album on. It's fun, catchy, and Does ol' Hank justice. Boats to Bulid is brilliant especially with the smooth vocals of Alan Jackson. It reminds me a lot of Alan's song Drive (for Daddy Gene). License to Chill is the perfect duet with Jimmy and Kenny. It's very tropical and really catchy. Piece of Work is probably one of my favorite songs. It makes sence for Toby to sing this sort of bad to the bone song with Jimmy. Very nice choice guys. Simply Complicated is just plain funny. Of course Jimmy has to have one of those songs on his CD (it almost reminds me of his earlier song Math Sucks). Coastal Confessions is dazzling and very fun. Sea of Heartbreak is a duet with the heart throb George Strait. It's the classic love song and can bring almost any girl to tears. All of the songs on the album represnt Mr. Buffet. Some more than others I think. There wern't alot of songs that took me back to the islands with him and there were a lot of slower songs than i anticipated but still very nice! YAY FOR JIMMY!
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