Photo by G.
I am about to listen to Lenny Kravitz’ latest album “Black and White America” for the first time. As I listen to the record, I’ll give you my initial impressions. You should know I am a huge Lenny Kravitz fan. I’ve seen him in concert many times, and I love him. I’ve been extremely disappointed with his last few albums, so I am praying this is a return to form. Let’s see…
“Black and White America” – Starts off on a good note. There are horns and the lyrics are about the division between blacks and whites in this country. As a side note, I am just as offended when someone calls me “white” as my skin looks nothing like the color white! The lyrics talk about when his parents got married how they were afraid to walk the streets.
“Come and Get It” – Ooh! Funky beat. Playful lyrics and horns. I am gettin’ it!
“In The Black” – The lyrics are subdued and the song has a great lead line. It would not be out of place on a movie soundtrack from the 70s. He says “with you, I feel the perfect high.”
“Liquid Jesus” – Kind of reminds me of a 70s version of “Don’t Go And Put A Bullet In Your Head.” He sings “wash me over, wash me down. I wanna get saved baby. Liquid Jesus.”
“Rock Star City Life” – This is your run of the mill rock and roll Lenny Kravitz song. It’s not offensive, but not ground breaking either.
“Boongie Drop (Featuring Jay-Z and DJ Military)” – He’s talking about the woman he sees at the clubs. This sounds like an outtake from the “Baptism” album. DJ Military says “come make that Boongie Drop” during the chorus which cements the fact that this will not be a track I listen to.
“Stand” – No relation to the Sly Stone song of the same name. The lyrics are about getting up when you’ve been knocked down. The music has a hand-clap beat. This song reminds me of the last few Lenny albums – certainly enjoyable, but doesn’t break any new ground.
“Superlove” – Another track that sounds like it was recorded in the 70s. This is making me wonder if these are the tracks from the often talked about and never released “Funk” album. I like this track. He says “I wanna be inside your superlove.”
“Everything” – A rock song. Not horrible, but not breaking new ground either.
“I Can’t Be Without You” – A slower groove with whispered spoken vocals from Lenny.
“Looking Back On Love” – A slower song with a funky groove. This sounds like it was recorded in the 70s as well. I am almost waiting for the Barry White voice over (and then Lenny delivers it when he says the name of the song!)
“Life Ain’t Ever Been Better Than It Is Now” – He talks about “when you’ve got the Lord, you’ve got the wealth.” The track is funky, but throwaway.
“The Faith Of A Child” – A ballad that is like a marriage of “Stand by My Woman” and “What the Fuck Are We Saying.”
“Sunflower (Featuring Drake)” – Midtempo track. Not great, but not bad either.
“Dream” – A very slow song that is just Lenny on piano with a string section.
“Push” – Mid-tempo track that would not be out of place on Lenny’s last few records.
I’m obviously going to listen to this album a lot more and I expect my impressions to change a little bit. I think the first half of the album is much stronger than the second half. I am not totally disappointed on first listen as it seems that Lenny is slowly making a return to form. However, he’s not there just yet.
Let us know what you think.