"Jimmy runs at different speeds. Sometimes he's singing wistful songs, sometimes he's a musical storyteller, sometimes he likes to get (relatively) rowdy, and sometimes he just likes screwing around having fun.Most of his fans, though, seem to want just one or two of their favorite flavors of Jimmy all the time. Hence the reaction to "Off to See the Lizard." Even the most introspective of tunes on the album -- "Take Another Road" -- is still couched in melodies and lyrics that make it a fun, playful tune. And that rubs fans looking for something else from this album the wrong way. So be it.I happen to greatly enjoy this album, but part of that is because of something that Parrothead completists should take note of: This album is a companion piece to Jimmy's first book, "Tales from Margaritaville." The songs and stories overlap to a great degree, and songs like "The Pascagoula Run" are fleshed out in the book, although they still retain a lot of their charm here. Even seeming novelty tunes like the title track get further explanation in the book -- the story turns out to be about a very odd high school football mascot.Overall, this is a charming and fun album and a good buy for Parrotheads looking for just that, or those who want to deepen their appreciation for "Tales from Margaritaville.""
Buffett Is The Wizard
Thomas Magnum | NJ, USA | 01/10/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Off To See The Lizard was released in conjunction with Jimmy Buffett's first literary effort, Tales From Margaritaville. The book contains expanded versions of several of the songs included on the album. As the book suggests, the songs have a literary quality and are amongst the most well constructed and written in his career. "Take Another Road" is great as is the jaunty "Boomerang Love", the wistful "I Wish Lunch Could Last Forever", "Pascgoula Run" and the memorable title track. The album is the last truly great record he has made."
Something for every type of Buffett fan
Cindy Lovell | Hannibal, Missouri | 01/22/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Jimmy Buffett's fans are unique in their dedication, and they hold him to their own personal high expectations. The party-parrotheads have their own list of demands, and the more literate (no aspersions cast on the party-goers) have theirs. All I ask is "just one song." I will pay top dollar for any CD that gives me one keeper, and pay it gladly. This CD gives two for the price of one: "Take Another Road" and "Changing Channels." "Take Another Road" continues to highlight Jimmy's love of Mark Twain and Twain's book, Following the Equator: A Journey Around the World (Dover Books on Travel, Adventure). "Follow the equator, like that old articulator, sail upon the ocean just like Mr. Twain..." unforgettable lyrics, energizing melody... an instant favorite. "Changing Channels" reminds us of the genius we have in Buffett. In the time it takes you to read this review, a parrothead somewhere will be stuffing coins in a jukebox to hear "Why Don't We Get Drunk and Screw," and he'll happily know all the words. Not to disrespect such classic Buffett, but just read the lyrics in this song. Even without the haunting melody we feel a swell of yearning to travel to this particular harbor: "There's an island in the ocean, where the people stay in motion, somewhere on the old gulf stream, do they live or did I dream?" Set your repeat button on this and save the airfare to the islands. This song is worth the price of two CDs. The other songs have their own merits, and it's likely other Buffett fans will choose other favorites ("Boomerang Love" combines a catchy melody with the too-true tale of rebound love). Ignore the critics on this one. Whether you like party-Buffett or thinking-Buffett, you'll get your money's worth."
A different musical angle
Eric Husher | Portsmouth, RI United States | 07/25/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"You know, it seems to me that there are two different kinds of Parrotheads; those that love tunes like 'Fins,' 'Cheeseburger in paradise,' and the other loud, jokey, drunken party tunes (and there are at least two on every Buffet album!), and those that really recognise Buffet for his true strength, and that is as a balladier without equal. Whether it is reminiscing about childhood activities, or observations of the human condition, scene setting, or just a heartfelt love song, Jimmy Buffet stands head and shoulders above just about any other artist I have ever heard. In this context, 'Off To See the Lizard' should be looked at as a slightly different twist in the Buffet repertory. Not quite what you might expect, but that's kind of what makes it all so interesting! Can you imagine if Jimmy Buffet continued to do the same kind of music he started out with? He wouldn't be around now, I'll tell you that! In sum, give the 'Lizard' a listen. Youmigt find it grows on you..."
Off to See the Lizard
M. Boutte | Houston, Tx United States | 08/07/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This was the first in a series of albums that broke the Jimmy Buffett mold. While all the songs still have his signature Carribean flavor, they show a more thoughtful approach to song writing and offer a glimpse of what Buffett really has to offer. The songs are even better if you've read the book Margaritaville because many of the songs were included in the book as short stories. This is album is an excellent introduction to Jimmy Buffett's later work."