Sound — 8
Lenny Kravitz has returned with his blend of nostalgic fuzz rock and hippie pop resonating through his latest release It Is Time For A Love Revolution from Virgin Records. Produced and arranged by Lenny Kravitz, the album has a Sgt. Pepper's feel permeating it's psychedelic leanings and a soul rock filament lighting it's melodic flow. The songs have the effect of a sonic aphrodisiac harnessing swirls of guitar rock and orchestral tones filling up the drum swells. Tracks like If You Want It' and Dancin' Til Dawn devise slopes of highs and lows and groves of funky horns traipsing through the latter. Kravitz still shows signs of Prince's funk-rock gyrations in tunes like Love Love Love and Will You Marry Me, and slices of classic rock with a Jimi Hendrix stylizing on numbers like Love Revolution and Bring It On. Kravitz also delves into complimenting feng shui patterns using modern orchestral textures and classic piano bolts on songs like I'll Be Waiting and the gentle swaying tempo of I Want To Go Home. The wispy ballad A New Door is relatable to Joe Cocker's single You Are So Beautiful To Me and the soft rock guitar riffs and vocal overdubs of A Long And Sad Goodbye have meaningful lyrics and a pensive aura reminiscent of Ozzy Osbourne's hit song Mama I'm Coming Home. On the surface, Kravitz and Osbourne are on different sides of the music spectrum. Kravitz, being American, puts soul and funk into his rock mixtures, whereas Osbourne, coming from England, has a heavy metal background, but after listening to A Long And Sad Goodbye, Kravitz and Osbourne sound like they could have come from the same household. Kravitz really expands on his talent for creating memorable melodic hooks on It Is Time For A Love Revolution, though his voice sounds exactly the same as you may remember it from his single Are You Gonna Go My Way.
Lyrics — 8
Kravitz's lyrics are reflections about life with words of love strewing Will You Marry Me to words about sorrow in I Love The Rain, but some of the lyrics which really penetrate the listener's thoughts are from A Long And Sad Goodbye. Kravitz cries out in the song, Papa, who's to blame/ Why you never made your fortune and fame/ Papa, what do you gain/ To leave the love you had for a two-bit dame/ Papa, why do you turn your back/ Why don't you stay on track/ Why do you leave and make her cry/ Papa, you mean the world to me/ Why do you abandon me/ Now it's a long and sad goodbye. There is always someone in your life who makes you feel like you've been abandoned, which really makes these lyrics dig in deep into those wounds. The music and vocals are really well done and crafted to make optimal impact on the listener.
Overall Impression — 8
If you are familiar with and liked Lenny Kravitz's past hits like I Build This Garden For Us, Mama Said, and It Ain't Over Til It's Over, then these songs are no surprise to you and this album is sure to be to your liking. The album is less club music and more classic rock studded, something like Earth, Wind and Fire meets The Eagles especially on the track Back In Vietnam. There is an omnipresence of the '60s Haight-Ashbury music blowing through Kravitz's songs, which is a wind that has blown through his previous albums and It Is Time For A Love Revolution is no exception.