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Lenny Kravitz: Raise Vibration

Lenny Kravitz
Raise Vibration
(BMG)

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On his 11th studio album, Raise Vibration we once again Lenny Kravitz smashing through with positive messages and a defiant stance in heavy rock and roll funk tunes. Opening with the trash-beat, singable chorus of funky rocker “We Can Get it Together” into a decidedly 70’s funk groove of “Low,” mostly with Kravitz singing over a drum backing on the verses, we get into the groove early here.

The title track starts really with only Kravitz and his electric guitar, but it gets going with a roiling bass and scary organ riff. There’s not much in the way of lyrics here, just Kravitz singing the title over and over, a plodding beat and electric guitar bends, even some Native American chanting at the tail. Wild stuff.

Sorry to say the lyrics to the big piano ballad “Here to Love,” are chillingly trite (Lenny, really?!) and again Mr. K. tries and misses with his lyrics on “It’s Enough.” This one though has got a cool percussion backing under a crinkly synth arpeggio, and the horns at the end are cool. “5 More Days ‘Til Summer,” mines KC and The Sunshine Band. It’s a wonderful ‘full’ band production (though Kravitz plays almost all the instruments himself on his albums) and the super funky “The Majesty of Love,” presents another fantastic groove with its high-tuned percussion, horn leads and riffing guitar (simple lyrics over a groove does sometimes work!)

These are great tunes a little more than midway on Raise Vibration.

A vocal harmony opens “Gold Dust.” With its halting keys, popping bass, and overdriven chorus vocals it’s another of Raise Vibration‘s interesting sonic concoctions.

Overall, while stuff like “Let Love Rule” has worked in the past, simple lyrics over a groove doesn’t always cut it and too often that’s what Kravitz is relying on here. I’m not so sure Raise Vibration is going to raise anybody to vibrate all that much.

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