Release Date: Aug 29, 2011
Record label: Roadrunner Records
From the title track, which references the insults endured by his interracial parents in the Sixties, to its colorblind blend of rock, soul and pop, Lenny Kravitz makes race the central theme of his ninth album. Despite big ideas, he deftly keeps the mood shifting. With help from Jay-Z on the dub-inflected "Boongie Drop," he celebrates the women of Eleuthera, the Bahamian island where he recorded some of the LP, and he prays for transcendence on the ballad "The Faith of a Child." Kravitz is most gripping at his most personal, but he doesn’t sustain that intensity.
Lenny Kravitz has walked the musical line between Black and White America ever since 1989, when he cannily crafted his persona through strands of Prince, Curtis Mayfield, David Bowie, John Lennon, and Jimi Hendrix. Kravitz has never been shy about his colorblindness but the very title of Black and White America suggests that he may finally be getting political, something he’s avoided outside of the occasional free love platitude. Naturally, this isn’t quite the case.
Obama’s so gonna put this on his iPod. Kravitz’s ninth album is a melting pot of funk, soul, rock, and other made-in-the-USA genres, with songs about growing up biracial after civil rights (the ’70s-inspired title track) and plenty of hopey-changey stuff (”Stand,” ”Push”). The singer’s a decent politician himself, praising what makes this country great: freedom, optimism, and clubs where ladies do ”boongie drops.” B Download These:Inspirational rocker StandEternal-love anthem Everything .
Pop music chameleon Lenny Kravitz, being a half-white/half-black American, has plenty of justification for titling his ninth album Black and White America. There aren’t too many biracial rock stars in the U.S., after all. But as a musician, producer and songwriter, Kravitz has always been a tough nut to crack—he’s been a spaced-out guitar hero-hippie (“Are You Gonna Go My Way”), a falsetto-sporting soul man (“It Aint Over ‘Til It’s Over”), a fist-pumping, riff-driven modern rocker (“Fly Away”) and a piano balladeer (“I’ll Be Waiting”), among other titles.
There’s no secret or mysterious concept hidden beneath the surface of Lenny Kravitz’s ninth studio album, Black and White America. His latest effort tackles issues associated with racism, reflecting upon how far we’ve come and how far we still have to go when it comes to society’s ongoing struggles with racial relations. Kravitz’s latest self-produced collection offers immense, sexy riffs aplenty, while frequently shifting moods and tempos.