|Lenny Kravitz - 5|
|Music Disc Reviews Audio CD|
|Written by Jerry Del Colliano|
|Tuesday, 01 June 1999|
One must wonder if Jimi Hendrix was alive today, would his records sound anything like Lenny Kravitz's most recent effort entitled 5? Not that Lenny has ever had the guitar chops of the immortal James Marshall Hendrix, but his grimy, down and dirt vibe and hard rockin' pop sound is currently the closest derivative to the original Hendrix aura.
The performance on 5 is the best to date from Mr. Kravitz. As he has aged, Lenny's lyrics and production have become more complex and subtle. Some of the best songs on the record include: "Thinking of You" a groovy tribute to his recently deceased mother, "Black Velveteen" an edgy track about the modern phenomenon of cloning and "I Belong to You" a strong, pop love song. Other strong points are the lead-off cut "Live" and the comicbook-esque, hard rocker, "Super-Soul Fighter.
Lenny went digital with the recording of 5, however he did recruit legendary engineer Terry Manning (Reverend Al Green, ZZ Top, Zeppelin) to maintain the rich, analog sound of this effort. Original samples and loops were created to help establish grooves that are clearly the best of Kravitz's career. The overall sound of the record is excellent, way exceeding the standard set by Lenny's past efforts.
5, as an album, gets very high marks from me. It is a total effort with great sound and musical coherence. You rarely get the urge to skip tracks or look for a better sounding record. 5 is one of the strongest contenders I have found so far in 1998.