Jason’s Jukebox: Lenny Kravitz

(Blogger’s note: I have written full reviews of all these albums on Rock Amino.)

When Lenny Kravitz released his album Raise Vibration last year, he said “Thirty years ago, I released Let Love Rule. My message is still the same. But has he really stayed that consistent? Let’s take a look at his discography and rank it from worst to best.

loverule

Let Love Rule (1989) *****

This is an excellent debuts, one of the best I ever heard. It shows us exactly what to expect, with a great mix of rock and funk. This is the only album which had contributions from his former wife Lisa Bonet.

Best tracks: “Let Love Rule”, “Freedom Train”, “Fear”, “Mr. Cab Driver.

mamasaid

Mama Said (1991) ***

This album was recorded with help from Slash and Sean Lennon. By this time, Lisa Bonet had given birth to their daughter Zoe. The album has a more light-rock feel, but it’s not bad. It feels like he’s trying to branch out.

Best Tracks: “Fields of Joy”, “Always on the Run”, “The Difference is Why”, “Stop Dragging Around”, “Flowers For Zoe”

areyou

Are You Gonna Go My Way (1993) *****

This is a consistent rocker, and one of his best-sellers. It’s a real classic from the 90’s and I love it.

Best Tracks: “Are You Gonna Go My Way”, “Believe”, “Heaven Help”, “Black Girl”, “Sister”

circus

Circus (1995) ****

This album was plagued by personal issues, but it doesn’t show. Kravitz and Bonet had divorced, and his mother was sick. Despite this, it’s pretty good.

Best Tracks: “Rock n Roll is Dead”, “Can’t Get you Off Mind”, “God Is Love”, “The Resurrection”

5kravitz

(1998) ***1/2

Lenny Kravitz’s final 90’s album wasn’t well-received by critics, but I actually think it’s pretty good Some great singles, including his iconic cover of  The Guess Who’s “American Woman”.

Best Tracks: “Super Soul Fighter”, “I Belong To You”, “Black Velveteen”, “Fly Away”, “American Woman”

lenny

Lenny (2001) ***

After a slight hiatus, Lenny Kravitz kind of took a dip in quality. This album is all right, but I’ve heard better.

Best Tracks: “Battlefield of Love”, “Yesterday is Gone”, “A Million Miles Away”, “Bank Robber Man”

baptism

Baptism (2004) **

At this time, Lenny Kravitz had wanted to write a straight 70’s funk-inspired album, but bouts of depression took this album in a different direction. In my opinion, this is his worst album.

Best Tracks: “Calling All Angels”, “Where Are We Running”, “Baptized”

love revolution

It Is Time For A Love Revolution (2008) ****

Baptism was such a flop that Virgin records no longer wanted anything to do with him.  It’s a shame, because this album was a great way for him to get back into his groove, and he was finally out of his funk from the previous 3 albums.

Best Tracks: “Love Revolution”, “Bring It On”, “If You Want It”, “I Love the Rain”, “A New Door”, “Back In Vietnam”

blackwhite

Black and White America (2011) *****

This is what Baptism was originally intended to be, a 70’s funk album. Inspired by his feelings toward what he felt was a rise in racism between both black and white people due to Obama’s presidency, this is probably his most heavy-handed album, but the message does not ruin the music at all. It’s his best album ever since Are You Gonna Go My Way.

Best Tracks: “Black and White America”, “Liquid Jesus”, “Rock Star City Life”, “Superlove”, “Faith of A Child”, “Push”

strut

Strut (2014) *** 1/2

This was Kravitz’s first release on his own label, Roxie Records (named after his mother). It feels like an album that has more freedom than he had with Virgin. It’s a pretty good rocker.

Best Tracks: “Sex”, “The Chamber”, “New York City”, “Pleasure and the Pain”, “She’s a Beast”

raise vibration

Raise Vibration (2018) ***1/2

I am so surprised that I’m the only critic who put this on his best of 2018 list, especially since 2018 had lots of great albums. Like Black and White America, it’s heavy-handed, but I still enjoyed it.

Best Tracks: “Low”, “Who Really Are the Monsters”, “Raise Vibration”, “Gold Dust”

Ranking:

11) Baptism

10) Mama Said

9) Lenny

8) Raise Vibration

7) 5

6) Strut

5) It is Time For a Love Revolution

4) Circus

3) Are You Gonna Go My Way

2) Let Love Rule

1) Black And White America

Next month is the first ever rap group ranking, the Beastie Boys!

 

Author: rocklobsterjwt

I am a Christian and an anime fan. My blog will cover anime reviews and maybe an occasional story

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