Blue Electric Light

Lenny Kravitz

Roxie Records, 2024

REVIEW BY: Benjamin Ray


He’s back.

Six years after his last album (and after nine years of celibacy, if recent reports are to be believed) Lenny Kravitz has returned with his 12th album Blue Electric Light. Like all his other albums, it’s a retro throwback with tons of funk, guitar solos, simple lyrics about love and peace and sex, and a whole vibe of cool.

Kravitz is one of the few guys at 60 who can still pull off the old-school “rock star” look, and it’s likely because he has branched out his career into style (he’s a brand ambassador/stylist for some high-end names) and acting; you almost never see a picture of the guy without his shades, a big scarf, leather pants, etc. Somehow, it works, and he uses this cachet to release the occasional album that gets attention for a few minutes and then vanishes.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Taking some time off during/after the pandemic to write his memoir and pursue other things, as noted, gave Kravitz a chance to recharge musically, but unfortunately this album mostly falls into the same stew as the man’s output over the last 20 years.  

First single and second song “TK421” is an electronic stew with strong Prince and Star Wars vibes; it’s fun, and a little dirty, but very repetitive. Far better is the opening song “It’s Just Another Fine Day (In This Universe Of Love),” a languid six-minute jam that recalls some of the best Lenny songs of the ’90s. “Paralyzed” isn’t bad either, using some slashing but slow guitar riffs and a talkbox/wah pedal for the solo for a retro feel. And “Spirit In My Heart” is an odd mix of Spanish rhythms, slow funk and R&B that works quite well.

However, ballads “Honey” and “Stuck In The Middle” drag down the proceedings and “Let It Ride” is pretty awful, using cheesy keyboard sound effects, affected voices and the drum pattern from a kids’ Casio in a lame attempt at something sexy. Sometimes the songs border on too earnest, especially on “Bundle Of Joy,” “Human” and “Love Is My Religion,” and after this second half of the album you’ll wish for a jolt of adrenaline like on the Lenny albums of old. (Side note: Anyone besides me think “Bank Robber Man” was a fun song from the underrated Lenny album? Remember “Battlefield Of Love” or “Pay To Play” from the same album? That’s what Blue Electric Light needs more of).

Bottom line, this is more Lenny Kravitz, for better or worse, and his simple message of simply loving each other and love will win the day and all that feels retrograde in the current social and political climate. Kravitz can still deliver the goods as a singer, guitarist, producer and mood-setter, but the best examples of this are few and far between on this album.

Rating: C-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2024 Benjamin Ray and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Roxie Records, and is used for informational purposes only.