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19.8.11

Lenny Kravitz - 'Black And White America' (roadrunner records) 4/5


It only seams like yesterday Lenny Kravitz seamed to explode out of nowhere with his infectious funk groove driven brand of hard rock, so I'm a little amazed that he now reached album number 9 in the form of 'Black and White America', how times flies when your having fun! Anyway the bottom line is there's a new LK album around and it's a pretty good one.

Musically this album does just what it says on the tin, it's a stylistic cake walk through the history of American popular music from both the white and African American traditions. you get tracks like the Black And White America itself and Come On Get It that are firmly rooted in the P-funk traditions of Parliament, The Faith of A Child is classic gospel, Rock Star City Life and In The Black and good old hard rockers with a Tom Petty vibe about them, Liquid Jesus is a track that drips classic soul and Motown influence and tracks like Boongie Drop heads off into hip-hop territory (featuring as it does a certain Jay Z as guest rapper).

The album is well played, well penned and well performed. My only complaint being that in trying to embrace so may different styles and genres on one album, and doing each one so well, this album does in places hang together more like a compilation release rather than a full blown album, but as individual tracks there is nothing to find fault with here.

Highlights? well the disco strut of Superlove features some great guitar work, Looking Back On Love has more than a hint of the Carlos Santana's to it (and I love Carlos) and my personal fave cut is the sleazy rock stomp of Stand.

Couple the musical excellence with lyrics that talk about racial harmony, love, peace and empowerment (man) you have a really good and very listenable album. Nice one Mr Kravitz

For fans of... Good American music in all it's guises.

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