Black And White America

9/7/11
1.0ARTIST INFO

Ladies and gentlemen, all hail the absurd reality that Lenny Kravitz is still somehow able to release albums on a major label in 2011. How is this possible, outside of some agreement with Lucifer himself?

Okay, okay, 1993's "Are You Gonna Go My Way" had a great guitar riff and 1998's "Fly Away" was a nice guilty pleasure, but honestly. This dude has perfected the idea of style-over-substance, making ultra-generic, pretty-boy bland soul-rock for so long it's hard to believe he can still get people to pay him to do it.

Take "Liquid Jesus" from his latest album, "Black And White America" -- it's trying to recall classic soul like Curtis Mayfield, but there's absolutely zero meaning behind it. "Wash me over, wash me down, I want to get sick baby, oh, liquid Jesus": I mean, what?

And who else but Lenny Kravitz -- the face of so many designer clothing advertisements in magazines -- would name a song "Rock Star City Life" with a straight face? If you can make it through to the sixth track, "Boongie Drop," you'll find Jay-Z dropping an embarrassingly lazy verse into the faux-hip-hop void Lenny has created.

"You have the power to face your demons, no matter how big or what kind," Lenny vaguely sings on "Stand," while likely staring out the lenses of a pair of Versace sunglasses that cost more than some people's monthly rent. "Life Ain't Ever Been Better Than It Is Now," he later quips on the song of the same name, reassuring you as fears of a double-dip American recession loom.

Yes, it's true, there are worse things in the world then a new Lenny Kravitz album and he keeps a pretty positive attitude throughout. I'll even give Lenny Kravitz credit for one thing on "Black And White America": crafting 16 songs, each as equally forgettable and vapid as the next.

"Stand" 

"Black And White America"

"Liquid Jesus"

Lenny Kravitz, "Stand" lyrics

Don't give up,
You're gonna see tomorrow
That you'll be on your feet again
Sometimes the world's gonna knock you over
But you will see who you are your friends

Come on, stand, up again
Come on, stand,
Stand, you're gonna run again

Your faith and patience will be your soldiers
To guide you through your troubled times
Just put one foot in front of the other
The battles are inside your mind
You have the power to face your demons
No matter how they go on time
And rid yourself of your fear and weakness
So you can start to live your life

COME ON! stand, up again
Come on, stand,
Stand, you're gonna run again

COME ON! stand, up again
Come on, stand,
Stand, you're gonna run again

Pick up your will
And put on your face
If you need to, just take my hand
It's time to demonstrate, don't hesitate
Just get up and say: Yes, I can

Stand, up again
Come on, stand,
Stand, you're gonna run again

Stand, up again
Come on, stand,
Stand, you're gonna run again