On this release, Banana Wind, Buffett continues in the light-hearted, tongue-in-cheek celebration of the beach-bum lifestyle that has made him a hero to tens of thousands of his "Parrothead" fans. Combining country-rock an... more »d calypso into his signature sound, the singer-songwriter advises all of us caught up in the rat race that we need to "take a holiday, grab a pack, and hit the trail, take a sail, and wind up in some moonlit bay." Early in his career Buffett was able to re-create the tension of everyday life before he released it with considerable gusto in a sun-filled fantasy. These days, however, he seems so out of touch with ordinary lives that he can't build much tension at all, and as a result his songs are so laid-back that they never quite get off the mat. --Geoffrey Himes« less
On this release, Banana Wind, Buffett continues in the light-hearted, tongue-in-cheek celebration of the beach-bum lifestyle that has made him a hero to tens of thousands of his "Parrothead" fans. Combining country-rock and calypso into his signature sound, the singer-songwriter advises all of us caught up in the rat race that we need to "take a holiday, grab a pack, and hit the trail, take a sail, and wind up in some moonlit bay." Early in his career Buffett was able to re-create the tension of everyday life before he released it with considerable gusto in a sun-filled fantasy. These days, however, he seems so out of touch with ordinary lives that he can't build much tension at all, and as a result his songs are so laid-back that they never quite get off the mat. --Geoffrey Himes
"Recently, I have become fascinated with a series of Buffett albums from the 1990's. I started out listening more closely to Barometer Soup, then Fruitcakes, and now Banana Wind. Really, in contrast to his earlier works, or "hits", these songs have a real amount of emotional depth. Buffett's songwriting has come a long way from Margaritaville. In all of these albums, the musical compositions are beautiful, and the lyrics are very thoughtful and clever. Out of all these I think Banana Wind is the best. There is not a bad song on here. I have been to Key West, Florida multiple times and I have noticed that, if I'm in a bar or restaurant that is playing a recording of Jimmy Buffett, it is usually Banana Wind. The thought that residents and employees who are all surely sick of even hearing the name Jimmy Buffett, can still listen and enjoy this album, is a true testament to its greatness."
Somewhat underrated album with a Cuban feel
A. Gammill | West Point, MS United States | 04/28/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I believe there are 2 kinds of Jimmy Buffet fans: (1) Those who grew up in the 70's before all this Parrothead stuff and believe with all their hearts that Mr. Buffet hasn't done anything really worthwhile since the early 80's. (2) The Parrotheads themselves, who bestow adulation on anything the man does, musically, or otherwise.
I am neither of these.
I like good music, and I feel there are several Buffet albums, old and not-so-old, that fit into this category. BANANA WIND distiguishes itself by being as close to a concept album as Buffet has probably ever done. Most of the songs have an unmistakable Cuban vibe. And most of them are about living the Good Life and Having Fun.
But. . .and I think both types of fans will agree. . .Buffet's greatest strength has always been as a songwriter. He's an observer, often a casual one, of the human condition. And he's shamelessly, relentlessly, old-fashioned. "Are we destined to be ruled/By a bunch of old white men/Who compare the world to football/And are programmed to defend?" he wonders in ONLY TIME WILL TELL, an opening statement still, ironically, quite fresh 10 years after it was recorded. His bitterness continues on OVERKILL, this time aimed at a recording industry that (at the time, remember Jimmy's first-ever Grammy award was still 7 years away) has either ignored or treated him with disdain for decades: "A million here, a million there/A mindless corporate dance/Get paid for fu**in' off/In the South of France."
Not that BANANA WIND doesn't have its share of toe-tapppin' overtures to Buffet's patented beach-bum lifestyle. Story songs like JAMAICA MISTAICA (a reportedly true story about Buffet and U2 lead singer Bono being mistaken for drug runners), HOLIDAY and BOB ROBERT'S SOCIETY BAND rank among his most witty compositions.
Even I (and I'm not taking sides...see the first paragraph) admit that Buffet's output in the 90's was a bit uneven. But I'd rank BANANA WIND at the top, because it's the only one from that period that I can listen to straight through without being temped to skip track here and there.
For Buffet fans: Don't waste my time, you already have it. For Good Music fans: A great sampler from a paradoxical icon. "
Jimmy's still got it
kevin linkenhoker | South Carolina | 05/01/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I noticed some of the people bashing this album but for me , Mr. Buffett has remained the same as he has been through the years . This album needs to be listened to more than once to make an educated review of the album . When I first listened to it I must confess , it wasn't the best one I've heard but when you sit back and listen to the words and the sound of the the steel drums you gain a different view of this piece . There are several songs that will stick out but when you listen to "False Echoes" you wll realize this is one of his best works EVER . This song was a tribute to his father and I have never heard a song that was so deep and sincere . I have heard that he will never play this song during a concert because it means so much to him , personaly , and if you listen to it you will realize that this is one of his greatest works . I hope you enjoy this album as much as I have . You will not be dissapointed"
I'm not a Parrothead, but this is an outstanding album!
Evan S. Shikora | 05/17/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've always been a casual fan of Buffett, but this album is truly an enjoyable, pleasant piece of work. It's songs are instantly hummable, with sometimes cheesy, but lovable lyrics. To all you Parrotheads, don't overanalyze the man, just enjoy his stuff."
Hard To Top This
G. J Wiener | Westchester, NY USA | 04/10/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I just can not understand the two or three bashers of this album. Where is it so different from Buffett's other work. Face it people, all of Jimmy Buffett's recordings are great. Like all the others, this is relaxing to listen to with the sensual steel drums and the amsuing lyrics that only Jimmy can bring us. Only Time Will Tell and Jamaica Mistaca are the ultimate way to start off a record as theya re among Jimmy's best tunes. Bob Roberts Society Band is another number that stands out. What makes Jimmy great is that he sticks to writing from the heart and always varies his styles and subject matters. However, this ranks near his best work of A1A and Son Of A Sailor."