Lenny Kravitz: Black and White America

It seems that on every Kravitz album there are one or two songs that get deserving attention, while the rest remain - understandably - ignored. The artist's latest album is no different.

Black and White America

Roadrunner Records


On every Kravitz album, it seems, there are one or two songs that get radio play and the remainder are largely ignored. On Are You Gonna Go My Way, the title song was huge straight out of the gate and considerable buzz surrounded Kravitz's future in the biz. But the remainder of the richly layered, but uncomfortably sugary, songs were left behind.

Since that album, Kravitz has grown into something of a modern retro/funk god, but the one-song curse has dogged him. So does that say something about Kravitz or his listeners? On this album, just as on all the others, one song, Stand, looks poised to be a natural hit.

The remainder of the songs are a stew of sentiment, odd rhyme schemes, and some seemingly recycled riffs. He's kept much of the overall sound that has come to epitomise Kravitz, but there's not a lot to dig into on the remainder of the album. A collaboration with Jay-Z and DJ Military sounds like an attempt at Miami club music, better suited for Jennifer Lopez.

And Sunflower, a collaboration with Drake, is diminished by what sounds like a cheap keyboard. For casual and loyal Kravitz fans, the Stand single is a great buy, but the rest of the album sounds like an attempt from a talented but uninspired artist to stay relevant.

Published: September 7, 2011 04:00 AM