Lenny Kravitz: A Neo-Hippie Who Brought Real Rock N Roll Back #LetLoveRule #RaiseVibration
Leonard Albert Kravitz (born 1964) is an American singer, songwriter, actor and record producer. His “retro” style incorporates elements of rock, blues, soul, R&B, funk, jazz, reggae, hard rock, psychedelic, pop, folk, and ballads. In addition to singing lead and backing vocals, Kravitz often plays all of the instruments himself when recording.
Kravitz was born in Manhattan, New York, the only child of actress Roxie Roker and NBC television news producer Sy Kravitz. His father is of Russian Jewish descent, and his father was from a Jewish family (with origins from Ukraine; see the Kravits surname). His mother Roxie Roker was of Bahamian and African-American descent, and was from a Christian family. Through his mother, Kravitz is the cousin once removed of television weather presenter Al Roker. During his early years, Kravitz did not grow up in a religious environment. After a spiritual experience when he was 13, he started attending church, becoming a non-denominational Christian.
Kravitz was named after his uncle, Private First Class Leonard M. Kravitz, who was killed in action in the Korean War at the age of 19, while defending against a Chinese attack and saving most of his platoon; he was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross but was denied the Medal of Honor. In 2014, he posthumously received the Medal of Honor in a ceremony that awarded it to 23 other servicemen who were passed over because of their ethnicity. Kravitz grew up spending weekdays on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, with his parents, attending P.S. 6 for elementary school, and weekends at his grandmother Bessie Roker’s house in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn.
Kravitz began banging on pots and pans in the kitchen, playing them as drums at the age of three. At the age of five, he wanted to be a musician. He began playing the drums and soon added guitar. Kravitz grew up listening to the music his parents listened to: R&B, jazz, classical, opera, gospel, and blues. “My parents were very supportive of the fact that I loved music early on, and they took me to a lot of shows,” Kravitz said. Around the age of seven, he saw The Jackson 5 perform at Madison Square Garden, which became his favorite group. His father, who was also a jazz promoter, was friends with Duke Ellington, Sarah Vaughan, Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, Bobby Short, Miles Davis and other jazz greats. Ellington even played “Happy Birthday” for him one year when he was about 5. He was exposed to the soul music of Motown, Stax, James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Al Green, Stevie Wonder, Curtis Mayfield, Gladys Knight, The Isley Brothers, and Gamble and Huff growing up who were key influences on his musical style. Kravitz often went to see New York theater, where his mother worked. His mother encouraged his dreams of pursuing music.
In 1974, the Kravitz family relocated to Los Angeles when Kravitz’s mother landed her role on The Jeffersons.
At his mother’s urging, Kravitz joined the California Boys Choir for three years, where he performed a classical repertoire, and sang with the Metropolitan Opera. He took part in Mahler’s Third Symphony at the Hollywood Bowl. It was in Los Angeles that Kravitz was first introduced to rock music, listening to The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, the Grateful Dead, Aerosmith, Black Sabbath, Creedence Clearwater Revival, KISS, Pink Floyd, and The Who. “I was attracted to the cool style, the girls, the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle,” Kravitz said. Kravitz’s other musical influences at the time included Fela Kuti, Bill Withers, Marvin Gaye, Pharoah Sanders and Miles Davis; John Lennon and Bob Marley proved later to be influential as well. Kravitz attended Beverly Hills High School. Maria McKee, actor Nicolas Cage and musician Slash were his classmates. In 1978, Kravitz was accepted into the school’s well-respected music program. He taught himself to play piano and bass, and made friends with Zoro who would later become his long-time collaborator. Kravitz wanted to be a session musician. He also appeared as an actor in television commercials during this time.
With record labels still telling him his music was not “black enough” or “white enough”, Kravitz decided to record an album on his own. Kravitz had met recording engineer/keyboardist/bassist Henry Hirsch in 1985 when recording a demo at his Hoboken, New Jersey recording studio. The two shared an interest in using real instruments and vintage recording equipment, as well as a love of R&B, jazz, and rock. Kravitz would go on to collaborate with Hirsch on most of his albums. Kravitz began working on his debut album with Hirsch over the next year and a half, with Kravitz’s father paying for the studio time. Kravitz met saxophonist Karl Denson and invited him to play on the song, “Let Love Rule”. Kravitz was so impressed with his playing that Denson played on much of the album. Denson toured with Kravitz for the next five years.
In October 1988, after completing most of the recording, Kravitz approached friend Stephen Elvis Smith who had served as the Music Supervisor on Lisa Bonet’s spin-off of The Cosby Show, A Different World. Smith had also worked with Kravitz’ mother, on the hit sitcom The Jeffersons. Kravitz urged Smith to manage his career and assist him in finding a record deal. In less than a month of shopping the recordings, five labels (Warner Bros, Elektra, Geffen, Capitol and Virgin) were in a bidding war for Kravitz. Eventually a deal was made with Virgin Records in January 1989, and signed by Virgin A&R executive Nancy Jeffries. The label was excited about the music he was making, music inspired by his relationship with wife Bonet and their new daughter, Zoe. On Smith’s urging, Kravitz dropped the name Romeo Blue and reclaimed the Lenny Kravitz moniker. About his time as Romeo Blue, Kravitz said, “Ultimately, it got me back to myself. And when I finally did accept myself for myself, music started flowing out of me.”
Kravitz released his début album Let Love Rule on September 6, 1989, a combination of rock and funk with a 1960s vibe. Music critics were mixed: some felt Kravitz was a gifted new artist, others felt he was overpowered by his musical influences. The album was a moderate success in the United States, but became an instant hit outside of the US, especially in Europe. Lisa Bonet directed the debut music video for the title track, “Let Love Rule”. Stephen Smith signed Kravitz with talent booking agency CAA, who soon were fielding offers for Kravitz, first on a club tour, and then in opening slots for Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Bob Dylan and David Bowie. Having played essentially all of the instruments on the album, Kravitz had to quickly assemble a touring band to support the Let Love Rule release. They included a childhood friend, Zoro on drums (formerly of Bobby Brown’s band), Adam Widoff (guitar), Lebron Scott (bass guitar, recruited from Curtis Mayfield’s band after seeing them perform in a NYC club), Kenneth Crouch (keyboards) and Karl Denson on saxophone. In May 2009, a 20th Anniversary Deluxe Edition of “Let Love Rule” was released worldwide by Virgin. The double disk includes a booklet with rare photos, and 18 additional demos, bonus tracks and live recordings. Kravitz launched a LLR(20) tour of Europe and the United States in support of the re-release. And the principal of his career in Brittany, at Rennes.
In 1990, Kravitz produced the song “Justify My Love” for Madonna, which he co-wrote with Ingrid Chavez. The song, which appeared on her greatest hits album The Immaculate Collection and created controversy because of its explicit video, went to number 1 for two consecutive weeks. When MTV banned the video, the video was quickly made available for sale at record stores, and immediately sold over 500,000 copies.
Kravitz separated from Lisa Bonet in 1991, amid rumors of an affair between him and Madonna. Kravitz has denied any infidelity. Kravitz and Bonet divorced in 1993. In 1991, Kravitz produced the self-titled album Vanessa Paradis for French singer and actress Vanessa Paradis. He played most of the instruments and co-wrote most of the songs on the album.
He also released his second album, Mama Said, which was his first album to reach the Top 40. The songs on the album were about Bonet and dedicated to her, documenting his depression over their breakup. Kravitz’s biggest single yet, “It Ain’t Over ’til It’s Over”, went to number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The single “Always on the Run”, a tribute to his mother, featured Slash on guitar.
“Stand by My Woman” and “What Goes Around Comes Around” followed.
Sean Lennon co-wrote and played piano on the song “All I Ever Wanted”.
In 1993, Kravitz wrote “Line Up” for Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler, and appeared on Mick Jagger’s solo album, Wandering Spirit, in a cover of the Bill Withers soul classic “Use Me”, and played guitar on the title track of David Bowie’s The Buddha of Suburbia.
That year Kravitz also got to work with idols Al Green and Curtis Mayfield.
In 1993, Are You Gonna Go My Way was released, reaching number 12 on the Billboard 200 and Kravitz earned a BRIT Award for best international male artist in 1994. The title trackwon a MTV Video Music Award for Best Male Video for the video produced by Mark Romanek, in which Kravitz slung his dreadlocks and wore high-heeled platform boots. During the presentation of the MTV Video Music Awards, he performed the song with John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin on bass.
Several singles from the album would follow, including “Believe”, “Is There Any Love In Your Heart”, and “Heaven Help/Spinning Around Over You”. This album was the first to feature guitarist Craig Ross, who has also played on all his subsequent albums. One song, “Eleutheria”, was influenced by the island Eleuthera in The Bahamas where Kravitz built a house and recording studio at that time.
In 1993, he also released the EP Spinning Around Over You, which included four live tracks from his “Universal Love Tour”. A feature documentary about his 1994 tour entitled Alive from Planet Earth was directed by Doug Nichol and released.
In 1994, Kravitz recorded “Main Squeeze” with Teena Marie from her “Passion Play” CD. Lenny also made a video to pay tribute to Teena Marie when she suddenly died on December 26, 2010.
Lenny recorded a funk-rock version of the song “Deuce” for the KISS cover album KISS My Ass: Classic KISS Regrooved. The track featured Stevie Wonder on harmonica and background vocals. This song was one of three radio singles from the album, and was also the album’s lead-off track.
Roxie Roker, Kravitz’s mother, died in California on December 2, 1995, of breast cancer at the age of 66. In 1995, Lenny Kravitz released the album Circus, which went to number 10 on the Billboard chart on the back of his past achievement. However, the album only had two hit singles: “Rock and Roll Is Dead” and “Can’t Get You Off My Mind”.
With 5 (1998), Kravitz embraced digital technology such as Pro Tools and samplers for the first time. Recorded in both his own New York City carriage house, and Compass Point Studios in The Bahamas, Kravitz employed engineer/producer Terry Manning to handle the recording duties.
5 introduced his music to an even wider audience thanks to the hit single “Fly Away” being featured prominently in both car manufacturer and airline commercials. 5 would reach number 28 on the Billboard 200, with “Fly Away” reaching number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100, topped both the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks and Modern Rock Tracks charts, and reached number 1 in the United Kingdom. He would win the first of his four consecutive Grammy for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance at the Grammy Awards of 1999.
Other hits from the album included “If You Can’t Say No”, that was also remixed by dance producer Brian Transeau, and “I Belong to You”. For the “I Belong to You” video Lenny can be seen without his signature locks.
In 1999 he produced and sang with Cree Summer on her solo album Street Faërie.
His cover version of The Guess Who’s hit “American Woman” won him another Grammy at the Grammy Awards of 2000 and helped The Guess Who’s song reach a new audience. Kravitz’s version of the song originally came from the soundtrack of Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me and was added to 5 as a bonus track in 1999.
Kravitz worked on two songs for Michael Jackson’s Invincible album released in 2001; a snippet of “Another Day” has leaked, and the full version was officially released on the album Michael in 2010.
Kravitz released a Greatest Hits album in 2000. It proved to be his most successful album, reaching #2 on the Billboard 200 and selling nearly 11 million copies worldwide and ultimately becoming one of the most commercially successful albums of the decade.
The single “Again” earned him his third consecutive Grammy for the Best Male Rock Vocal in the Grammy Awards of 2001 and peaked at number 4 on the US Billboard Hot 100.
Kravitz also co-wrote the song “God Gave Me Everything” with Mick Jagger in this period, appearing on Jagger’s 2001 solo album Goddess in the Doorway and in the film Being Mick. In 2001, Kravitz participated in a benefit auction for the Red Hot Organization, in conjunction with Amazon.com to increase public AIDS awareness, which ran from February 28 until April 11, 2001. The event featured rare RHO memorabilia and the work of Rolling Stone photographer Mark Seliger.
Kravitz released his sixth album Lenny in October 2001. The album was recorded in Miami. Kravitz wrote the song “Bank Robber Man” after the Miami Police Department detained and cuffed him while walking to the gym with his trainer because police stated that he matched the description of a bank robber. Kravitz did not have any identification with him at the time and the police on the scene did not believe that he was indeed Lenny Kravitz. The bank teller who was robbed was then brought to the scene and said Kravitz was not the bank robber. Miami Police later sent officers to Kravitz’s home to apologize for the detention. When asked if he thought the incident was a case of racial profiling, Kravitz said he wasn’t sure although some of the lyrics in the song suggest otherwise.
The first single from the album, “Dig In”, went to number 1 in Argentina and the top 10 in Italy and Portugal. The video for “Dig In” was originally supposed to be shot at the top of the Empire State Building on September 12, 2001 but the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 caused the location to be moved. The video was later shot off the coast Miami. He won his fourth Grammy in 2002.
“Stillness of Heart”, “Believe in Me”, and “If I Could Fall In Love” were subsequent singles from the album.
Kravitz was the subject of a photo book by former chief photographer for Rolling Stone, Mark Seliger. Published in November 2001, Seliger captures Kravitz on tour, with family, with friends and in posed portraits. Jay-Z invited Kravitz to appear on the track “Guns and Roses” on his 2002 The Blueprint: The Gift & the Curse. Kravitz would also join P. Diddy, Pharrell and Loon on the track “Show Me Your Soul” from the Bad Boys II Soundtrack.
In September 2002, Kravitz appeared alongside other rock stars in the episode “How I Spent My Strummer Vacation” of The Simpsons.
In early 2003, Kravitz released the track “We Want Peace” as a download-only track as a protest against the 2003 invasion of Iraq, he performed this alongside famous Iraqi singer Kazem Al Saher at Rock The Vote. The track reached #1 on the world internet download charts and MP3.com download chart.
Kravitz also appeared on Unity, the official album of the 2004 Athens Olympics, and performed a cover of “Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland)” on the album Power of Soul: A Tribute to Jimi Hendrix.
Kravitz’s seventh album Baptism was released in May 2004. The first single was “Where Are We Runnin’?”. The single “California” failed to be commercially successful, but “Storm”, featuring Jay-Z, reached the charts. “Calling All Angels” was successful in various countries and a huge hit in Brazil, however it was “Lady” that became the album’s surprise hit, making the US Top 30 and propelling Baptism to gold status.
Also in 2004, he appeared on N.E.R.D’s album Fly or Die. From March 2005, Kravitz toured all over the world with the tour Electric Church, which ended at the Brixton Academy, London in July 2005. Kravitz served as the opening act for Aerosmith who are long-term friends of Kravitz on their fall 2005 tour. The tour began on October 30 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. The night before that tour started, October 29, 2005, Lenny’s father, TV producer Seymour “Sy” Kravitz, died. During that first show, Lenny broke the news to the stunned crowd and stated it was not a time to be sad, but rather a time to celebrate because he is now in Heaven. Lenny then dedicated Let Love Rule to his father. That tour was so successful that it was extended through February 25, 2006 and ended in Anaheim, California.
In January 2006, Kravitz contributed “Breathe” to absoluttracks, a project sponsored by Absolut Vodka. This song was re-mixed by ten musical producers and distributed via the internet. Kravitz appeared in the audience of Madonna’s Confessions Tour (2006) during numerous shows. He later joined Madonna live on stage to play guitar on the song, “I Love New York,” at the last of four Paris shows. Kravitz founded a design firm named Kravitz Design, stating if he hadn’t been a musician he would have been a designer. Kravitz Design, focused on interior and furniture design, has designed residential spaces, as well as a chandelier for the crystal company Swarovski, named “Casino Royale.”
On July 7, 2007, Kravitz performed at the Brazilian leg of Live Earth in Rio de Janeiro, making him one of three major international rock stars to perform two huge free concerts at the world-famous Copacabana Beach along with Macy Gray and the Rolling Stones. Kravitz had already played there on March 21, 2005, drawing 300,000 people on a concert of his own. The Live Earth concert, with eight other acts on the bill, including Pharrell and Macy Gray, took 400,000 to the beach. Also in 2007, Kravitz released a version of “Cold Turkey” by John Lennon on the charity CD Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur. Kravitz also spent time recording his latest album, It Is Time for a Love Revolution, released February 5, 2008. On September 25, 2007, the Fats Domino tribute album “Goin’ Home ; A Tribute To Fats Domino” was released. Kravitz was on the song “Whole Lotta Lovin'” along with Rebirth Brass Band, Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews, Fred Wesley, Pee Wee Ellis and Maceo Parker.
Kravitz performed at the Grey Cup halftime show in Toronto at the Rogers Centre on November 25, 2007, where the Saskatchewan Roughriders beat the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 23–19. The original video for “I’ll Be Waiting” was shot in Central Park in New York City with Marc Webb directing but that video was later shelved and a new version, which Kravitz co-directed with Philip Andelman, was filmed in Lenny’s New York City recording studio. The video premiered on VH1’s Top 20 Countdown at number 3.
On January 17, 2008, Kravitz embarked on a 9 city mini-tour to promote his new album It Is Time for a Love Revolution. The tour started in Santa Monica, California and ended in New York City on February 1. The tour was done in association with Myspace and called the “Get on the Bus” tour. At each stop on the tour, they would pick up one contest winner and their guest and they rode on the “Love Revolution” bus until the end of the tour. Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, a close friend of Lenny’s would appear at The Orpheum Theater in Boston. The New York City winner, Tyrone Good was presented a train ticket from Penn Station to travel to Philadelphia and rode with the tour the rest of the way starting in Philadelphia (The Electric Factory), Boston (The Orpheum Theater), and finally New York City (The Hammerstein Ballroom). Ryan Neuerburg, the San Francisco winner, embarked on almost the entire tour with his father, Tom Neuerburg. The winners were featured in the YRB February Edition alongside Lenny Kravitz in a magazine pull-out. The photo shoot took place at the Electric Factory in Philadelphia on stage. The winner’s pull out was featured in another issue of YRB which had Lil’ Wayne on the cover.
On February 11, 2008, Kravitz was admitted to Miami Hospital suffering from severe bronchitis. He had been suffering from a series of severe respiratory tract infections since mid-January, and the illness developed into bronchitis. Kravitz’s illness had forced him to postpone Canadian dates and his trip to Europe to promote his album It Is Time for a Love Revolution. On March 19, 2008 he canceled the South American part of his tour due to the same illness. The decision affected planned concerts in Colombia, Mexico, Brazil and Argentina. In Argentina Kravitz had a performance in the biggest rock festival there, Quilmes Rock Fest. On July 15, 2008, Lenny was honored in Milan, Italy with the key to the city in a special toast ceremony for his work with the United Nations Millennium Campaign to end world poverty.
Kravitz made his feature film acting debut in Precious which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2009.
During the Italian leg of his 53 date Let Love Rule (20)09 European tour, Kravitz had been instructed to cancel some shows due to a bad bout of bronchitis. Under strict orders from his doctor, the singer was told to rest so that he could make a quick recovery and return to the stage for the rest of his tour. Shows scheduled for Rome on June 5 and Brescia on June 6 were postponed to late July.
Kravitz’s next album, tentatively titled Funk, was tentatively re-titled Negrophilia and was due out sometime in 2010. This is believed to be a project that Kravitz has been working on since 1997. Some of the original tracks for Funk were recorded while he was in New Orleans at Allen Toussaint’s studio while taking a break for several months from recording in New York City. A video on Kravitz’s Twitter page shows him working on one of the songs for the album, called “Super Love”, in his GTS studios in the Bahamas. Another video shows him working on another track titled “Life Ain’t Never Been Better Than It Is Now” in his GTS Studios. On his Twitter page, Kravitz said that the album title was Negrophilia but then “felt like something else”. Eventually, the album was later named Black and White America. The album was released on August 22, 2011 in Europe and August 30, 2011 in the U.S.
On February 20, 2011, the first single “Come on Get It” was released. On June 6, 2011, the second single “Stand” was released.
It was announced that Kravitz would be supporting U2 on their 360 Tour on the second North American leg in 2010. Kravitz agreed to support them for four shows. Though the shows were postponed until 2011, Kravitz remained committed for four of the shows. In June 2010 it was announced that Kravitz would guest star on an episode of the upcoming season of Entourage.
On December 1, 2011, Kravitz was honored with one of the highest cultural awards in France when he was made an Officer of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by French cultural minister Frederic Mitterrand in Paris. Kravitz stated he was “particularly touched” to receive the award in France as his success in the country pre-dated his success in the United States and still enjoys great record sales in the country today. Kravitz joins other American recipients such as Martin Scorsese, George Clooney, and Bob Dylan. On February 26, 2012, he performed at the Daytona International Speedway (several songs carried live on Fox) for the Daytona 500, the opening race of the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup season.
A sample of “Are You Gonna Go My Way” was used in American singer Chris Willis’s single “Too Much In Love”, released on August 16, 2011.
Lenny Kravitz played the part of Katniss’ creative stylist, Cinna, in the first two Hunger Games films, The Hunger Games released on March 23, 2012 and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire released on November 22, 2013.
On September 23, 2014, Lenny Kravitz released his tenth studio album Strut on his own Roxie Records via Kobalt Label Services. The single “The Chamber” was released on June 24, 2014, followed by “Sex” on August 6 and “New York City” on October 21. along with the title track on February 17 and then the final single “The Pleasure And The Pain” on June 26.
On February 1, 2015, Kravitz performed alongside Katy Perry at the Super Bowl XLIX halftime show.
On August 4, 2015, during a guitar solo at a concert in Stockholm, Kravitz squatted down, causing his leather pants to rip. Because Kravitz was not wearing underwear, his genitals were briefly exposed to the audience. He did not face any legal repercussions from the incident.
As a designer, Kravitz launched a furniture collection in partnership with CB2 in 2015.
In 2015 he became a furniture designer for the first time ever launching a collection of furniture products marketed under the label cb2 x kravitz design through retailer CB2. In 2016 he guest starred on the FX TV show Better Things playing the part of Mel Trueblood. In 2017 he earned a spot on the Fox Television series Star playing the part of Roland Crane in his first recurring television role.
In April 2018, Kravitz signed with BMG Rights Management for a new worldwide publishing music deal to go with his new album Raise Vibration. BMG had acquired Kravitz’s music publishing rights in 2013, as part of Virgin Music Publishing. Kravitz will commence his Raise Vibration world tour, in fall 2018, and just released his 11th studio album, Raise Vibration, on September 7, 2018. In a Rolling Stone interview it was confirmed that Kravitz had already begun work on a follow-up to Raise Vibration, as a possible soundtrack to a future film project.
My Connection to Lenny Kravitz:
I started listening to Lenny Kravitz in 2007 when I was 15 & a freshmen in high school. At the time I had a little white iPod shuffle so it only held a few songs on it & since the internet was a newer thing in my life although I had used in the past a little I only really listened to singles from artist back then. I got into him off his album 5 that came out back in 1998. Some of my favorite songs from him come off that album like Thinking of You, I Belong to You, Again & my favorite song of him of all time Fly Away. I also listened to a few single off his album Mama Says like It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over as well as his cover of American Women. Then in 2011 when his album Black & White America came out I listened to a few songs off that like Sunflower ft. Drake, Superlove/Superlove remix by Avcii RIP & Black and White America. Over the past few years I have been getting even more into Lenny’s other albums like Mama Says, Circus, Are You Gonna Go My Way? and especially his 1988 debut album Let Love Rule which just celebrated its 30th anniversary Thursday September 6th. I also have always just loved the energy that Lenny gave off in his music & just in his personality. I especially like his younger years when he was making Let Love Rule & Mama Says plus his relationship then to Lisa Bonet. They actually have a really incredible relationship as brother & sister now even 25 years after their break up which is awesome.
Also back in high school when you were a black kid who liked rock music you only had a few contemporary people you could look to mainstream that were black making rock music was Lenny Kravitz. And Lenny is 54 still looks amazing & able to rock it better than most in their 20s just remember that. Basically I just love Lenny Kravitz and the beautiful message he has been spreading for 30 years of peace, love and good vibes.
Raise Vibration Review:
We Can Get It All Together
Starts of slow with some organ sounds then a fierce drum beat comes on which leads into a guitar strum. This is a song dealing with religion but also talks about how we need to get it together by looking into ourselves & fixing what is needed in us. There are a lot of things us as humans do that is toxic and hurtful to both us and Mother Earth. He talks about us doing all those things but that there is hope that we can fix these things that we are doing. Song ends with a little acoustic guitar strum & some feedback.
Low was my favorite of the two singles that came out and is very funky & ‘70s inspired. It’s got those Michael Jackson adlibs that I love which gives even more of a funky old school vibe. It’s got that dope drum beat all over it. Lenny speaks about not wanting his fame & sexuality to cloud his realness in a relationship. For the person to not look at Lenny as just this celebrity to be with but to see the real person inside him. I think most people want this in their life. For their next relationship to not look at them in another relationship but to just look at them as the person they are. It’s ends with MJ’s famous scream which I think ties the song together perfect. This is a pure bop!
Who Really Are the Monsters?
This song sounds very ‘80s & very Prince inspired. Very much a politically charged song about war & how we are at war with other people but also at war with ourselves. We are not willing to face ourselves & stop the bad behavior we have which is also directed to humanity. What we do that is harmful to ourselves is also harmful to our Mother Earth & all her creatures. But we as humans don’t want to own up to that harmful behavior we want to own blame it on other people. We want to blame everything on our politicians, police or celebrities but not own our bad behavior. Yes these people are doing horrible things and making the vibrations on Earth very low but the average person does come pretty bad stuff as well even if we are not subconscious about it and we need to own up to it. So he asks who really are the monsters? I think he opens up a great conversation about our responsibility to the look inside ourselves and fix our own demons. A great Caribbean drum brake is in the middle of the song & Lenny says we need to start communicating with ourselves but also each other. It’s got all the funk of a great ‘80s record with the sax, guitar, break beats & drums. It sounds very much like a song if he were making this kind of music back in the late ’80s he could have made.
It’s starts of sparse with an electric guitar & Lenny singing taking pauses between each few lyrics before the drum beat comes in. Then in the middle when he says Raise Vibration a two count drum beat comes in & then goes into a very ‘60s vibe. This song is about raising our vibration & being better people making our energy higher & put everything into love. Doing things like meditation, praying or just staying in a positive mind-set will help you to raise your vibrations. In an interview Lenny did with I Heart Radio he talks about the media we consume or the music we listen to or the environment we are around can be a way of clouding our energy so we need to be careful about the things we do & consume. He talks of Jesus, MLK & Gondi leading & serving through love which is so important. It ends with a group called Northern Cree playing traditional Indigenous music of Turtle Island at the end which is awesome! A very great anthem that I think we should all be listening to and really helping ourselves and others to raise our vibration.
One of my favorite songs on the album. It’s starts with a steel guitar sound before going into a love song about needing love like the love Johnny Cash & June Carter gave him when he lost his mother back in ‘95 to cancer. He said he had just come home from his Japanese tour at the time & went to the hospital to see his mom. He stayed there for a day before going home which he was staying at Rick Rubin’s house where Johnny Cash & June Carter were also staying to finish recording an album. He says he went home to take a shower & eat but while in transit his mom passed away. He gets the phone when he walks in the door and is stunned. As he stands at the bottom of the stairs in the house Johnny & June come down the stairs and say hello to Lenny and ask him what is wrong. Lenny says his mom just died & Johnny & June just grab him and give him the biggest hug ever and just hold him sending him so much light, love & good vibes. Lenny writes this song from his perspective at the time to a lover. He wants this person to hold him like Johnny & June did and send him that energy when they are together. It’s a very beautiful song both lyrically & instrumentally. Sweet love song!
Here to Love
Starts off on piano kind of somber but then goes into his lyrics of unity, strength, doing what’s right, & loving each other like your own. To think twice before you hurt another person because you don’t know what they’re going through and that judgement is wrong & we should lead with love. A song of hope for the future for those who want to hear this message.
His most politically charged song on the record he goes off! He talks about everything from racism, to how we treat the earth, to the food we eat, to the chemicals in the air and so much more. For a lot of the song we get a lot of the political, social & environmental things that are happening everyday in this world. It kind of gives off a conspiracy vibe a little which I’m here for because most conspiracies for the most part end up coming true. He talks about a system that we can’t trust & how we are all just being fooled. When he says that all of this crazy, harmful things being done everyday is enough I agree it’s enough of all the bad things in the world we need more good & positivity. It’s a very important song I feel for this time on Earth as humans.
5 More Days ‘Til Summer
Gives of a Mexican summertime vibe with words of the hard-working humans who needs a summer day to take a vacation. It’s a cute little song with guitar, piano & a little bit of drums. There is a cute little kid count down on the bridge as well which I love.
The Majesty of Love
Very ‘70s about searching for love. Got that jazzy funk vibe about in during the break down with the sax, horns, chime instrumentals, Caribbean drums, & rhythm guitar.
Starts off with Lenny’s big vocals then goes into a piano, drums & electric guitar. Then goes into a small guitar solo before slowing back down to the piano then going back up to the guitar & drums. It talks about basically that not everything that glitters is gold. That material things are not always the most important things in the world but our connection to each other and Mother Earth. Buying the next greatest technology and spending a bunch of money on this or that for no real reason but to keep up with the Jones and not focused on our family, friends and community.
Simple acoustic strum then some very ‘70s futuristic sounds get played. He talks about looking into a persons spirit & knowing this person forever in his mind. I think this song is about being his soul mate. This is a beautiful love song to either a lover or could be an ode to his daughter Zoe. He calls this person his angel. It’s so cute!
I’ll Always Be Inside Your Soul
This mixes a few trap beats with a soul guitar rhythm. This is another love song. He says he will always be in this persons heart & soul and that he watches them & is in their mind. I think this is his ode to Zoe from a father to a daughter as she lives her life & he lives his to know he is always there with her. There is even a mbira/kalimba sound at the end that fads our the song & album. Beautiful way to end the album!