Lenny Kravitz – Black And White America – Reviews
Lenny Kravitz has always composed outside the box. In 1993, his third studio album asked “Are You Gonna Go My Way?” and listeners largely did: it became his first Top 20 album on the United States Billboard 200. On Black and White America, Kravitz’s ninth studio release (Roadrunner/Atlantic), his skill for mashing styles has been honed to the degree where you can’t tell exactly when within a song the transition happens; you just know the coupling’s happened. And no matter what direction he goes in, you’re usually going to get the best and most authentic parts of what any given style has to offer.
Blending categories to the nth degree with lots of 70′s funk horns and slap bass, the title track explores a little of Kravitz’s biracial background – his father Sy Kravitz was white, his mother black and the rage their marriage caused in the early 1960s against the backdrop of racial divide in America at the time, telling it without getting preachy and sermon-happy about it. ”I was raised to be proud of both sides” he has said when interviewed.
“Stand,” the first single, has all of Kravitz’s signature mellow-to-hard catchiness but its lyrics at times border on life-coach dribble which mildly undercuts this otherwise good song. On the hip-hoppier side, Drake joins Kravitz on the fun “Sunflower.”
Perfect for making the end of a city summer last just a little longer, “Boongie Drop,” is a pulsing rap-infused dancefloor groove ode to thick Bahamian women featuring Jay-Z and DJ Military. It makes you want to dip it low and pick it up slow no matter what the size of what you’ve got going on back there. Jay-Z’s a bit tough to recognize initially – he is definitely doing a little imitation job to get the island accent happening – though it’s probably meant playfully. Sailing and wailing from blues to jazz and back, “Look Back On Love” is full of the masterful seamless style changes Kravitz does so well- soul gets off duty and then rock shows up to start her shift and beyond.
I can’t resist the urge to use the name of one particularly funky track to encourage checking this CD out so here’s a bunch of them:
Lenny Kravitz Black And White America (Official Video)
Lenny Kravitz – Come On Get It
Leonard Albert Kravitz is an American singer, songwriter, actor, record producer, and multi-instrumentalist. His "retro" style incorporates elements of rock, blues, soul, R&B, funk, jazz, reggae, hard rock, psychedelic, pop, folk, and ballads. Wikipedia
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