I'll be honest, the acts associated with the root of Lenny Kravitz's sound, barring Sly & Family Stone, Prince, and The Rolling Stones, have never really been my thing. However, you don't have to be a fan of Led Zeppelin to appreciate Kravitz's unique musical synthesis of white rock and traditional black soul.
On It Is Time For a Love Revolution, Kravitz keeps quality and consistency in abundance. These traits have aided and abetted Kravitz in internalizing the previously mentioned influences, which many critics accused him of recycling shamelessly in the past. Thematically, this record differs little from the other seven LPs that preceded it. Kravitz easily could have come of age in the late 1960's, the breadth of the 1970's, or the early 1980's. His ability to sound like he stepped off of a time machine is what makes his music endearing in this age of musical cynicism. Kravitz always pours emotional depth into his music through his self-contained the production, arranging, writing, and playing. On this record Kravitz does what he does best, rock out, bare his soul (musically speaking), and make music that just feels so damn good.
The opening rush of "Love Revolution" sports Kravitz's handsome voice, popping with energy over the guitar crunching and drum stabs. The sexy braggadocio of "Bring It On" walks on your ear drums like its a stage. Kravitz's voice is able to bend and break upon the appropriate moment, never sounding phoned in, always just right.
The tongue-in-cheek wit of "Love, Love, Love" is a favorite here. With words like: "Your ways are never static! You're always keeping it erratic! I want you to know I'm emphatic, about your love that's enigmatic!" Women (and men!) are bound to swoon, especially when he follows it with the steamy stickiness of "Will You Marry Me?" This number shows that the fluid masculinity of Kravitz's sex appeal is not only stylish, it has substance to keep you coming back for more.
It isn't all rock star swagger and knee-knocking crooning, on the now Kravitz classic "I'll Be Waiting" he weaves his typical portrait of love prevailing in the face of a heart betrayed. An ode to his father "A Long and Sad Goodbye" joins the song dedicated to his mother, "Thinking of You," from the 5 LP (1998) as bittersweet dedications to his parents.
It Is Time For a Love Revolution leaves the listener with a sense of fullness and satisfaction. It isn't groundbreaking, but it is original in the sense that it is now Kravitz's sound. This sound finally bridges the true connection between the black soul and rock 'n' roll, and only Kravitz could do it on a balanced level. Four stars out of five.-QH