Last Mango in Paris

Jimmy Buffett

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Last Mango in Paris Review

by Johnny Loftus

Jimmy Buffett scored big with this 1985 effort, landing three singles on the country charts. "If the Phone Doesn't Ring, It's Me," "Gypsies in the Palace," and "Please Bypass This Heart" were album standouts, but "Everybody's on the Run" became a template for his later dalliances with synth-tinged pop arrangements, and a handful of the album tracks would emerge as concert favorites. "Jolly Mon Sing" is the sort of island-tinged throwaway track that's probably pretty easy for a guy like Buffett to write; nevertheless, it's as warm as the Gulf Stream waters, and is sure to put a smile on the face of fans. Last Mango in Paris also unveiled a few more of Buffett's trademark, character-driven song stories. But unlike some of these experiments, where his storytelling tended to gobble up the song (pointing to Buffett's eventual skill as a novelist), "Frank and Lola" focuses on its funny tale over a jaunty harmonica and acoustic guitar arrangement that's right out of the American songbook. Sure, there's some filler here, as there is on most of his albums. But Last Mango in Paris' host of high points make it essential for anyone enamored of Buffett's live shows, or even the casual fan looking to expand beyond Songs You Know by Heart.

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