Lenny Kravitz | BMG Records | 9/18 | Score: 8/10
▣ By Christy Rouse
When I was tasked to write an album review on music icon, Lenny Kravitz, I was concerned with where to start. So, I began by engulfing myself in his new album. In the midst of performing research, my small town of New Bern, NC was hit by Hurricane Florence. Experiencing such devastation and witnessing the community unifying changed my perception and understanding of the words Kravitz was singing.
Raise Vibration has a feeling of groovy funk with an R&B swirl. He sings about unity, love, and coming together. Sorry to sound like a corny 1970’s poster, but its true. However, this album is far from 70’s corny…the soulful funk will have you swaying and bobbing your head as you are pulled into Kravitz’s musical wonder. My favorite song from his album, “Here to Love”, hit home. It’s hard to listen to the song and not be moved.
Chorus: “We’re not here to judge, we are here to love, There’s no room for hate, We are just one human race, We must rise above, We are here to love, There’s no time to waste anymore…”
The second single released from Kravitz’s album, “Low”, has a very familiar voice added in. Michael Jackson’s famous “Oooo” can be heard several times throughout the song. During a recent television interview with Jimmy Fallon, Kravitz stated, “I wanted to have his presence on the track.” An amazing nod to one of most famous singers of our time.
After the power was restored, I sat and watched video after video on YouTube; falling head over heels with his soulful sound. What really grabbed me was the meaning behind the songs, his storytelling. He pulls you into his world like a moth to a flame. This album is one you sit back, favorite beverage in hand, and take in the vibes. Kravitz is a smooth, cool cat- humble and sophisticated with uber talent, to boot.
Not only is Kravitz a singer/songwriter, but an activist, actor, interior designer, and photographer. This cat has his own design company, Kravitz Design. If you are curious, visit 75kenmare.com. Kravitz’s company exclusively designed this luxury New York condominium. The penthouse sells for a cool $7.5 million.
What you can appreciate about Kravitz is his unwavering beliefs in the world, even while acting. The movies he has been a part of, Precious (2009), The Hunger Games (2012) and The Butler (2013), all have an underlining morality story.
Kravitz, a Brooklyn, NY native, came from a wealthy upbringing with celebrity parents. His father Sy Kravitz, was a TV producer, and mother Roxie Roker was an actress best known as her character, Helen Willis on the Jefferson’s. However, early in his musical journey, Kravitz was determined to make his own way in music without his parents’ influence. Which, as we all well know, he has done very successfully.
You wonder who could have influenced such a talented, cool cat such as Lenny Kravitz? Kravitz, in an article for Rolling Stone on April 27, 2016, spoke of Prince as a huge influence, after hearing album Dirty Mind, released October 8, 1980. He stated, “Just seeing the album cover opened up my imagination. Here was an African-American cat, skin color like mine was, playing the guitar like I wanted to play.” (Kravitz, 2016) Other notable influences John Lennon, and of course, Jimi Hendrix.
So, no more hesitation…”Fly Away” and listen to the new album!