As I listened to Lenny Kravitz’s recent release, It Is Time For A Love Revolution, I realized I had never taken in an entire Kravitz album before. And while I enjoyed his poppy singles (some more than others), I wouldn’t exactly say they blew my mind. But let’s get one thing straight: Kravitz is a cool guy. He’s so damn cool that a bad album can’t possibly make him any less awesome. That said, It Is Time For A Love Revolution makes me want to rip off my ears, kick Kravitz in the nuts, then hire someone to kick me in the nuts just to dull the initial pain caused by the album. (Was that too dramatic?) Lenny Kravitz’s weak attempt at revitalizing psychedelic love rock fails horribly with unsubtle lyrics and boring, monotonous guitar riffs.
The album opens with the rollicking rock track, “Love Revolution.” It’s catchy and, well, that’s about it. On “Good Morning,” Kravitz dispels an otherwise strong intro with mediocre lyrics: “Good morning. How are you?” Lenny asks as he goes on with descriptions of what waking in the morning must entail. “The coffee’s hot but the cream is sour / So get up / Top of the morning to ya.” Yes, he says that last line, indicative of the song’s failed faux-Beatles demeanor. John Lennon must be spinning in his yellow submarine.
Kravitz continues with confusingly hokey lyrics on songs like “Love Love Love”: “Your ways are never ever static / You’re always keeping it erratic / I want you to know I’m emphatic / About your love that’s enigmatic / You, me and God makes three / My eyes are open I see / Oh baby don’t you understand?” (No, not really.) And let’s not forget Kravitz’s pathetic desperation in “Will You Marry Me” (in the style of Jimmy Brown): “You are my life and my passion / That never goes out of fashion / I want to know / Will you marry me?” It’s complete funk, but not the flavorful kind.
Finally, there’s “Back in Vietnam” (this deserves its own section):
Exhibit A: “We are like pirates and we are comin’ with the biggest ego / We’re gonna bring it down and give it to you, that’s how we go / We’re gonna drop from the sky like a killer tornado…”
Exhibit B: “We’re gonna fly over the world inside a giant eagle / We do just what we want and don’t care if it isn’t legal / We’re on a horse that is high, we think / We’re so damn regal…”
Iraq. It’s like Vietnam. Obama 08. And Kravitz successfully packs every known cliché known to man into one album. It’s quite an achievement.
The album does find some redemption midway through. “I Love the Rain” succeeds as a melancholy rock groove. Similarly, “A Long and Sad Goodbye” features a nice range of instrumentation. If you can get past the all-too-common “Dear Daddy” angle, you’ll find the song features a slew of spectacular shimmers and a heartfelt chorus. Overflowing with emotion, it doesn’t seem apropos on an album otherwise devoid of genuine character. It’s also the only song with a bitchin’ guitar solo. Additionally, “A New Door” and “Dancin’ Till Dawn” show a lot of promise as well, with beauteous piano fills in the former and playful lyrics in the latter: “She keeps me dancin’ til dawn” – possibly a fun metaphor for, uh… well, you know.
I really wanted to like It Is Time For A Love Revolution. Unfortunately, it overflows with sad rhyme schemes, generic storytelling, and feels about as cliché as a billion band shirts on a billion fat kids.