Wednesday, 24 August 2011
REVIEW: LENNY KRAVITZ- BLACK & WHITE AMERICA
Taking us back to great music with no grey areas.
It doesn't seem like more than three years ago that Lenny Kravitz released his latest classic 'It's Time For A Love Revolution' back in 2008 that took it back to the vintage, best 'Let Love Rule' days. Still now in 2011 Lenny takes it back even further with his latest release 'Black & White America'. This ninth album is yet another wonder from one of the most versatile, underrated talents in rock music.
The album opens up with the title track that really gives us a funky history lesson of Kravitz's old sound. Than on 'Come On & Get It', Lenny starts a distorted vocal, rally-cry charge which harks back to some of his biggest hits like 'Fly Away' and 'American Woman'. This single, previously used on an NBA commercial is truly where amazing happens. The track 'In The Black' is yet again vintage Kravitz but when the album streams into the track 'Liquid Jesus', Lenny takes it higher with sounds that praises the heart of soul.
'Rock Star City Life' is an up-tempo, feel-good number which is just right for a party or celebrating a perfect Summer's day this August, while 'Boongie Drop' is different but still game changing as Kravitz yet again collaborates with hip-hop friend Jay-Z following their previous work together ( including 'Storm' off Lenny's 'Baptism' and 'Guns & Roses' from Jay-Z's 'The Blueprint 2'). The single 'Stand' really does help this album plant it's feet as it is a get up and proud pop record, ready-made for the charts.
The out of this world 'Superlove' really takes you away with it's funky, 70's feel, while the rocking love dedication 'Everything' really has it all. the love lament 'I Can’t Be Without You' follows and is one of the deepest devotions the singer has rocked. After this Kravitz is 'Looking Back On Love' on an introspective track that completes this trilogy of love songs perfectly.
Then the rock star shows us even more and just how good things can get with 'Life Ain’t Ever Been Better Than It Is Now', just try not to feel positive after this track. Than the piano driven 'The Faith of a Child' is a pronouncement of peace as beautiful as his daughter Zoe. Things get even brighter still on the enlightening, Swizz Beatz produced 'Sunflower', were Kravitz links up with top Toronto M.C. Drake and shows that he's with more hip-hop than just Jay-Z. Plus just like the other track on this album, this genre, envelope pushing song doesn't effect the rock stars musical credibility, in fact it furthers it.
This deep, diverse set concludes with the inspiring, influential 'Dream' and the forward thinking 'Push'. Also on the special edition of this album is good for the track 'War' and an awesome acoustic version of 'Black & White America'. All in all this album is classic and vintage classic from the artwork showing the singer as a child, to the lyrical and instrumental depth of every song on the record. This funky, fantastic album that was meant to be released before 2004's brilliant 'Baptism' is long overdue. Still this eagerly anticipated album is really worth the wait in gold (expect platinum too) as it still stands the test of time just like the words and symbols painted on a young Kravitz's face on the cover, 'Peace'. TIM DAVID HARVEY.