Released By : Virgin Records
Genre : Funk Rock, Misc
Link : http://www.lennykravitz.com/
1. ‘Black and White America’
2. ‘Come and Get It’
3. ‘Into the Black’
4. ‘Liquid Jesus’
5. ‘Rock Star City Life’
6. ‘Boongie Drop featuring Jay-Z & DJ Military
8. ‘Super Love’
10. ‘I Can’t Be Without You’
11. ‘Looking Back On Love’
12. ‘Life Ain’t Ever Better Than It Is Now’
13. ‘The Faith of a Child’
14. ‘Sunflower’ featuring Drake
Though Lenny Kravitz is somewhat of a musical chameleon, utilizing elements of soul, funk, roots and reggae to complete his style, commercially he is more known as a guitar-wielding rock star belting out tunes like AMERICAN WOMAN and of course ARE YOU GONNA GO MY WAY?. Unfortunately for those that prefer the rockier side of Kravitz that particular element takes a little bit of a back-seat this time around, but if you are a little more open-minded in your musical endeavours, BLACK AND WHITE AMERICA has plenty to offer.
Filling an album up with so many different styles certainly has its benefits as there is always something interesting going on, and with a whopping sixteen song track-list the surprises last for quite a while. The downside to this however is that it would be really, really hard to find anybody that could possibly enjoy each of the tracks or be willing to listen to the album cover to cover more than once after the initial surprise has passed.
For example, I like to think I personally have a very wide spread as far as music that interests me, but no matter how much I tried there is no way junk tracks like the awful dancefloor pop song BOONGIE DROP could ever appeal to me. Heck, it even features a guest vocal from JAY Z. Then there’s SUNFLOWER, a ridiculous track that merges seventies funk with modern R’n’B and pop music complete with a guest rap from some dude called DRAKE. But as I said earlier, I’m sure these two tracks will appeal to some folks, just not me. There is a fair slab of tunes though that redeem this album for me, maybe none more so than title track BLACK AND WHITE AMERICA. The actual message may be a little strong for people that aren’t heavily into the whole race equality issue, but the JAMIROQUAI influenced rhythm is certainly very appealing. COME ON GET IT is more along the lines of what I look for in a LENNY KRAVITZ album, and while the horns still play a large part in the sound, this a pure funk-rock track that simply smokes. STAND is a fun feel-good party rock track that will appeal to the masses and probably chart well too. LOOKING BACK ON LOVE has that retro-soul feel to it and features a great KRAVITZ vocal effort. The final highlight for me was the ballad THE FAITH OF A CHILD that recalls the feel of LENNY’S best ballad BELIEVE, but similarly to a few songs on this album the overall message may be a bit strong for some, but just the music itself makes up for it.
There isn’t a lot on BLACK AND WHITE AMERICA that will have a strong commercial appeal as a lot of it is too soft for the rock crowd and too different for the pop crowd, but I think this is more a musician’s album and serves well as a bit of clinic on just how great LENNY KRAVITZ is as an artist, even if the album itself doesn’t quite add up to the sum of its parts.
Written By ZeeZee
Rating : 6/10