I Can't Call It: Strut: Lenny Kravitz

Posted On Wednesday, October 22, 2014


ANYBODY who knows me, knows that Lenny Kravitz is my dude. If you come 'round here enough or have chopped it up with me in person enough then you've heard the story again and again. The summer of '90, I was 15 and was runnin' with my dude Sean who was 5 years older then me. So dude's taste in music included MUCH more then hip hop. It was over his crib where I got into the Isley Brothers, house music and most importantly, Lenny Kravitz. I never heard of this dude but Sean played his album "Mama Said" a billion times and that's how and when I got put onto Lenny and it's been a wrap ever since.  I gave Lenny's last album Black And White America 5 mics and caught hell for it, but ya'll think I cared? The jawn was damn near flawless to me but you know what I realized? That when an artist puts out an album that I feel was 5 mics (or at least close to it) I'm in absolutely no rush for them to drop their next album...at all. It's to the point I won't even realized that YEARS have passed since it dropped in the first place cause I wanna just wanna remember them for that classic. It's like, wanting to remember Mike for that last shot in Utah and not for anytime he spent in DC. So outta nowhere (or at least what it seems like for me) Lenny's got this new album "Strut" on tap and I'm scared shitless cause I know he can't drop a 5 mic banger again...right? I mean, that's as hard as winning the Super Bowl or the NCAA hoops chip in back to back years. But I'll tell ya'll this...if anybody can do it, I'll put my money on Lenny....well, not ALL my money but some of it.




Welp...I can tell you from the door that "Strut" sounds absolutely nothing like "Black and White America." But that's cool. I mean, "Stankonia" didn't sound ANYTHING like "Aquemini" but it was still dope right? "Strut" sets off with "Sex" which is reminiscent of some classic David Bowie that would've been on Friday Night Videos back in the early 80's and is dope and "The Camber" sounds like some classic Duran Duran (another group most folk wouldn't expect me to rock with but I do) off their "Rio" album back in '82 and both of these songs kinda set the tone for the album. "New York City"  is Lenny's ode to...you guessed it, New York City, "The Pleasure and the Pain" sounds like a classic slow jam from the 60's with a hard rock twist to it and has Lenny singing "I'll take all you offer, because it's all the same/the thought of the flower, the pleasure and the pain/I'll climb up that mountain, because it's you I gain/I can't live without it, the pleasure and the pain" and the 1st single "Strut" sounds like Lenny's having a jam session with Sly and the Family Stone back in the 70's. "Frankenstein" sounds like it could've been recorded by War during their "The World Is A Ghetto" sessions while "She's A Beast" is that classic Lenny slow jam that goes just as hard as your favorite rapper's hardest song. "I'm A Believer" brings us back to that's 80's rock that set the album off and "I Never Wanna Let You Down" and "Ooo Baby Baby" slows everything down and the latter has Lenny reworking one of my favorite Smokey Robinson's song and even though nobody can make that song better then Smokey, Lenny tries his damnedest to make it happen.



Now, I really don't have ANY words to describe what the hell was on Lenny's mind with "Happy Birthday" cause the song is just flat out wack and I'm not used to Lenny doing "flat out wack" but I'm sure none of us was ready to see Jordan in a Wizard's uniform either. But my fave track on the album is easily "Dirty White Boots" that will have you forget all about that birthday mess. The drums on this track sound like some classic Primo, D&D, MPC-60, Eddie Sancho engineered drums (but when doesn't Lenny have hard drums?) and with the guitar this could EASILY have Fame and Billy Danze on this banger. "Come up to my room, get out of the weather/drop the window shade and take off your sweater/you are all I need, to make me feel better/let you hair hang down and give me that leather/come on, put a record on and you dirty white boots/come on, you know you turn me on, in your dirty white boots/come on, we're gonna get it on, in your dirty white boots." Now, this right here is that classic Lenny I love! So...the question of the year is  does Lenny follow up "Black and White..." white another 5 mic banger? Naw, not even close. And that's no dis to "Strut" either cause it's a solid album but there's just not enough classic Lenny on here for me. But again, don't get it twisted cause all of the songs (except that one anomaly) on here are dope...they're just not 5 mic dope. And to be honest, there aren't too many artist in the history of music who have come with two back to back 5 mic albums so I can't be mad at Lenny. Hell, I'm the one who would've been happy if Lenny just ended it all with "Black and White..." but how dumb is that? Why wouldn't I want one of my fave artist to keep banging out music cause I'm scared he won't make another 5 mic album? Yeah, I'm trippin...

3.5 outta 5 mics
 

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