Book Card  -  Volume 32  -  Book Review Number 2  -  Thu, Jun 16, 1994 9:32 PM

TITLE: Fruitcakes
AUTHOR: Jimmy Buffett

My friend Linda thinks "Jimmy Buffett music" is an oxymoron, like "military intelligence" and "airline food". Her closed-minded attitude is probably due to overexposure to "Margaritaville", plus negative associations from song titles like "Why don't we get drunk and screw?" (Of the latter, Jimmy says, "I can be very sensitive on occasions, and real trashy on others..." Makes sense to me; this describes lots of us, myself emphatically included).

In defense of the Buffett-bashers I have to admit that his recent albums have been less than stellar. "Forgettable" is one word that comes to mind; one has to go back ten years or so to find anything new really worth mentioning in the Buffett archives (a couple of fine compilations have been released in recent years, and a decent live retrospective album).

So it was with more than ordinary interest I read about the new album on the Internet in the weeks before its release on May 24th (a Tuesday). Most indications were positive, but the objectivity of confirmed parrot-heads is suspect at best.

Feeling frugal, I waited till that Friday when I found a sale to purchase Fruitcakes. I had some driving to do that afternoon, so I slipped the CD into the changer in my pickup and listened to it twice in a row in short order.

The verdict? Jimmy Buffett's back! This one's a keeper.

"You know, I was talking to my friend Desdemona the other day, she runs the space station and bake shop down near Boomtown. She told me that human beings are flawed individuals, that the cosmic bakers took us out of the oven a little too early and that's the reason we're as crazy as we are, and I believe it."

- Jimmy Buffett from the title track on "Fruitcakes"