September 09, 1985 12:00 PM

Jimmy Buffett

Amiable, witty, loose—this lively, enjoyable album is Buffett at his most entertaining. There’s a tune that more than lives up to the cleverness of its title, If the Phone Doesn’t Ring, It’s Me, by Buffett, Will Jennings and Michael Utley. There’s a delightful novelty co-written by Buffett and the late Steve Goodman, Frank and Lola, about a middle-aged couple trying to rekindle their romance: “Frank told Lola, ‘Honey, can’t you see/ That I’ll jump start you if you’ll kick start me.’ ” And there’s a pleasantly dreamy track, Beyond the End. Roy Orbison, harmonica player Greg “Fingers” Taylor, ex-Eagles Glenn Frey and Timothy B. Schmit and guitarist Josh Leo, all make notable backup contributions; actor Harrison Ford shows up as well, doing the whip-cracking sound effects on Desperation Samba. Buffett, who is always more of a storyteller than a singer, has a finely honed sense of irony. Listening to this LP is like spending time with a well-traveled cousin with a lot of tales to tell—some tall, some just medium-size and some close to the truth. (MCA)

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