Years after his smash hits like “Fly Away,” “Again” and his cover of “American Woman,” it really seemed like Lenny Kravitz fell off the radar. He won Grammys in four consecutive years from 1999-2002, but since then, his albums have received primarily negative reviews and it felt like his fan base was surely on the decline. But all of that is about to change with his new release, Black And White America.
With Harold Todd on sax and Michael Hunter on trumpet, the jazzy title track starts out on the right foot. Lenny sings about Martin Luther King, Jr. and the struggles his parents went through during the civil rights movement because of their interracial relationship. The rock and jazz fusion continues into the second track, “Come On Get It.” Kravitz creates interesting sound effects with the synthesizers on “In The Black,” and you can hear how passionate he is about the subject matter.
With an incredibly catchy chorus, “Rock Star City Life” sounds much like his older rock hits. Featuring Jay-Z and DJ Military, “Boongie Drop” provides an interesting change of pace to the disc. Lenny then breaks out the harpsichord on the uplifting and cheery tune “Stand.” The affectionate, lovemaking jam “Superlove” follows, and Craig Ross does a phenomenal job with both the electric and 12-string acoustic guitars. Arguably the best track on the CD, “I Can’t Be Without You” is much more than a song about missing a girl. Lenny is simply flawless on the piano and he delivers such an extraordinary melody.
This is one of the most diverse albums I’ve heard in some time. Lenny touches on many different genres, including rock, soul, jazz and rap, and he does it to perfection. This absolutely solid 16-track disc will prove to you that Lenny is back and is still an amazing, one-of-a-kind musician.
In A Word: Shocking