(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.
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.
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”
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 (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”
5 (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 (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 (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”