Thursday, April 22, 2010

Are You Gonna Go My Way? You had better!!!! (Music Review by Scott OKen)

Today I discuss the genius of Lenny Kravitz. “Are you kidding me” you ask? The answer is a definite and unequivocal NO! I recently put him in the same conversation as Prince and Funkadelic. That my be sacrilege to many funk/soul purists, but I tell you now, that it holds up!
Kravitz is the perfect blend of late 60s Psychedelic rock, 70’s soul, and a tad funky business thrown in. Prince is similar in that he puts a rock sensibility into his funky dance grooves and of course he can whip out a ballad with the best of them. Funkadelic basically takes the concept behind Parliament and brings out the rock and throws in some acid trips to boot! Kravitz walks the line on all these to perfection! Let us look at his catalogue, shall we? WE SHALL!!!

1. Let Love Rule-This one is chock full o’ ditties! Sitting On Top Of The World, Let Love Rule, Blues for Sister Someone, Mr. Cab Driver, and the standout ballads My Precious Love, and Does Anybody Out There Even Care. OKen’s Ultimate Rating (OUR) -9/10
2. Mama Said-Kind of a weird follow up, but gets better upon repeated listens. I believe that if this lp and his next one were reversed, he would have been even bigger! Standout tunes-Fields of Joy, Always on the Run (mistakenly thought of as “Mama said”)It Ain’t Over ‘til It’s Over(This is a CLASSIC 70s-type soul tune!) Let’s not forget Stop Draggin’ Around as we all know LK knows his way around a riff! OUR- 7.5/10
3. Are You Gonna Go My Way- The definitive Classic!!!! This lp is what my friend Beav calls a “100%er” , meaning EVERY SONG is great! I won’t even list the standout tunes here. If you purchase 1 LK album in your life, this is it! The title track! The psychedelic classic Believe! The soulful Heaven Help! Well, I guess I did mention some songs…but they are ALL GREAT! OUR- 150/10!!!!!!!
4. Circus-Technically his least successful lp but there is much rock and soul to be had. Standout tunes are Rock and Roll is Dead (RiffS!!!!!), Circus, and the obviously Zeppelin influenced Beyond the 7th Sky! Shit! I almost forgot the somewhat Southern tinged Magdalene. OUR- 8/10
5. 5-This was his most successful lp, and a fine one it is. This has the mega-hit Fly Away, and some other great tunes, such as, Live, Supersoulfighter, and the funk-a-licious Straight Cold Player. You’re My Flavor is a nice little ditty as well. OUR-8/10
6. Lenny-No this isn’t the soundtrack to the Bob Fosse fim. I consider this his weakest effort. There are some standout jams, though. This has the classic groove Dig In, the super psychedelic , If I Could Fall In Love, and the fun Bank Robber Man. OUR-6/10
7. Baptism- Much better, than the last one. Solid. Standout tunes are, Minister of Rock and Roll, the pop-laden Lady, and the Prince titled Sistamamalover. Points are taken away for Storm featuring Jay-Z. Why tarnish your album by putting a talentless, non-musical hack on it? OUR-7/10
8. It’s Time For A Love Revolution-This one is fucking good! Really fucking good! This is almost on par with Are You Gonna Go My Way…almost! This is chock full-o-tunes of love here! Standouts include, Love Revolution, Bring it On, Will You Marry Me and Back in Vietnam!!!! OUR 9/10

There you have it. Do yourself a favor and grab some Lenny today!!!!


  1. Shockingly, I think Rock and Roll is Dead is one of his best songs. It jams so hard it makes me want to grab a complete stranger and pummel them to death.

  2. I went to a Lenny concert on a friend's ticket a few years ago, mildly interested in seeing him and I was blown away. He was amazing!