Jimmy Buffett, "Buffet Hotel"

Album Review
3.5
<p>With the exception of acts like <a href="http://www.billboard.com/#/artist/weird-al-yankovic/117443">"Weird Al" Yankovic</a> and <a href="http://www.billboard.com/#/artist/ac-dc/3919">AC/DC</a>, there aren't too many talents that need to worry about recalibrating their sound less than <a href="http://www.billboard.com/#/artist/jimmy-buffett/4203">Jimmy Buffett</a>. True to form, his new album, "Buffet Hotel" (the title of which will ensure that the "one t/two t's" debate among copy editors will persevere until the end of time), is a breezy stroll through Buffett's usual stomping grounds. These include well-poured sunshine-filled escapism ("Summerzcool"), light ballads with Hawaiian hints ("Beautiful Swimmers"), a gently insistent carpe diem (<a href="http://www.billboard.com/#/artist/bruce-cockburn/4322">Bruce Cockburn</a>'s "Life Short Call Now"), a nearly unbearably cheesy love note to his fans ("Big Top"), a tale of international adventure (the Mali-inspired title cut, featuring <a href="http://www.billboard.com/#/artist/toumani-diabate/139133">Toumani Diabate</a>) and a snarky, vaguely political monologue on current events ("A Lot to Drink About"). "Buffet Hotel" might be less about the songs and more about generating a vibe. If you subscribe to it going in, you'll check out happy. -Jeff Vrabel</p>