CD Review of It Is Time for a Love Revolution by Lenny Kravitz
Recommended if you like
Red Hot Chili Peppers,
Sly & the Family Stone, Black Crowes
Label
Virgin Records
Lenny Kravitz:
It Is Time for a
Love Revolution

Reviewed by Red Rocker

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S
omething terrible has happened to rock n’ roll the past few years. Forget the ever-deteriorating format of FM radio, or the utter destruction of the independent record shop. Forget that MTV doesn’t play videos any more, and don’t even get me started on this nonsense of paying $12 to iTunes for a complete album that the consumer is responsible for downloading and storing in a virus-ridden space without any artwork or lyrics. No, I’m referring to the kidnapping of Lenny Kravitz. Who the hell stole Lenny?!

Forget the whole hair-cutting thing. The dreads were a novelty anyway – something to get him noticed, his early identity, something for Lisa Bonet to play with. Forget, too, that he used to release a worthwhile body of work every other year, yet now is barely delivering a new album every four years. It’s the music! Would it really kill the guy to keep rocking well into his 40s? I’m not even asking for “Stop Draggin’ Around.” No, “Dig In” would do just fine, thank you.

Lenny Kravitz

First, kudos for the high points (this won’t take long, I promise). Love Revolution kicks off with enough vintage Kravitz to suck you in and keep the play button lit. Both the opening title track and its follow-up “Bring It On” employ riffs galore and all the fist-pumping bravado of his early ‘90s stuff. The funk soul brother then straps on his best Red Hot Chili Peppers for a nasty good “Love Love Love.” in which he suggests, “Don’t need no job that gets me paid, don’t need no more religion, don’t need no air condition, don’t need no one to get me laid.”

Now for the bad: too many damned sappy and lifeless power ballads! “Good Morning” sounds like the worst Queen song Freddie Mercury never, thankfully, wrote. “Get off and go in the tower, the boss is old but he has the power.” C’mon, Lenny. “This Moment Is All There Is” has a faint McCartney and Wings vibe to it, but simply grinds along in a slow, lackluster groove that begs for the next track to hit. The most legitimate radio entry is probably “I’ll Be Waiting,” yet another power ballad that fills the “Can’t Get You Off My Mind” spot on Revolution. Even the rock-funk potential of a James Brown one-off like “Will You Marry Me” gets swallowed up by the ridiculously drab “I Love the Rain” hot on its heels.

What the hell is a love revolution anyway? Webster’s says a revolution is a “radical and pervasive change made in structure; one made suddenly and often accompanied by violence.” Surely, Kravitz isn’t looking to incite a bloody riot in spreading his message of love. And for the record, I’m not a love hater. I just want Lenny back.

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