Picks and Pans Review: Somewhere Over China
Buffett's style is as effortless as a Key West breeze; you can almost picture him recording this album in a swivel chair on his fishing boat. His sound, backed by the Coral Reefer Band, is engagingly loose and clean. His lyrics never fail to deliver several offhand gems: "Ain't it quite funny how word gets around/I heard I was in town." Even when the music becomes too quirky (with a trilling and muted trumpet, the title cut recalls I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter), Buffett's affability pulls him through. It's Midnight and I'm Not Famous Yet, the album's best cut, is a driving, crunching rocker. Others, like Lip Service, If I Could Just Get It on Paper and When Salome Plays the Drum, demonstrate that Buffett's countryish voice can do pop-rock as well as the quasi-Caribbean idiom he popularized in Margaritaville.