|Lenny Kravitz - Greatest Hits|
|Music Disc Reviews Audio CD|
|Written by Jerry Del Colliano|
|Tuesday, 24 October 2000|
Virgin Records, 2000
| Performance 9 | Sound 8.5 |
It took one time of listening through the new Greatest Hits CD for me to remember just how many hits Lenny Kravitz has recorded. As of 2000, Lenny Kravitz is one of rock's biggest acts. His tunes transcend Billboard charts and radio play to be the music that big-dollar ad agencies use to brand their products. This is a compliment reserved for the most elite artists in music.
Lenny's Greatest Hits doesn't miss any of the big tunes like "Are You Gonna Go My Way," "Fly Away," "It Ain't Over Til It's Over," "American Woman," "I Belong To You" and "Let Love Rule." It also comes complete with a new tune called "Again" that I would surmise is about the loss of his mother. Unfortunately, "Again" is ho-hum in comparison with the tried and tested jams that surround it. Greatest Hits digs deep into some of my favorite Lenny tunes that are less radio-friendly, such as "Rock and Roll Is Dead" and "Mr. Cab Driver." The tune I was surprised to see missing is "Mama Said," a funky, all-out rocker featuring Slash of Guns N’ Roses fame on guitar.
Lenny Kravitz's retro sound is steeped in the tradition of Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page and soul artists like Sly and The Family Stone, The O'Jays and Kool and The Gang. His tunes are relevant and his sound is simple. Lenny's vocals are soulful and believable. He seems real when you constantly hear artists like Green Day who are from Berkeley but sing like they are from Liverpool.
The mastering on Lenny Kravitz's Greatest Hits sounds very consistent, even though the tunes are pulled from records made over at least a 10-year time frame. There is an analog feel to the tunes. They are warm and retro. They tend not to have the dynamic zip of more digital-sounding recordings. Nonetheless, the record is always pleasant and never feels grating or harsh.
If you own most of Lenny Kravitz's albums, then you won't need this Greatest Hits CD. However, if you have become familiar with his tunes on radio and TV, you'll find this record easy to listen to and strangely familiar.