Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Lenny Kravitz-Let Love Rule (1989)


.....And let the awesome 80's rule right alongside it! For at least one more day, anyway. Although I'm sure I would've gotten around to putting the spotlight on one of popular music's biggest marquee names, many of you probably weren't expecting the face of Lenny Kravitz to show up during my special "Flashback To The 80's" series. The idea kinda just came to me the other day when I was thinking about all of the music stars who were big in the 90's and into the early 2000's, yet started their professional singing career years before that. I myself haven't given Lenny Kravitz (I love that name; it just sounds like somebody who's a cool rock star) his rightful due, having only heard the same trio of hits I keep hearing all the time on the radio: "American Woman", "Fly Away" and "Is There Any Love In Your Heart?". So, call me about twenty years late in catching up with this guy's music, too! It only makes sense, then, that I rewound the clock back to 1989 when he released his debut CD, "Let Love Rule". I'd gathered from my repeated listens to those three songs I just mentioned that Mr. Kravitz was not only just a cool customer who knows how to make great music, but also a mighty eclectic one as well. And wow—I certainly recognized that brilliant talent all up and down this album! That distinctively aching, soulful voice of his that I love so much (I always thought he sounded like Prince) is ever so present in a big-time way on exceptional offerings such as the title track (this ended up being my #1 favorite, and I especially adored it because of the jazzed-up solo on the sax and the funk-filled frenzy fusing with the sounds of the organ closing out the final moments) and "I Build This Garden For Us" (the extended instrumental of the guitar is simply marvelous!). "My Precious Love": Well, this one felt precious to me, loving the bluesy vibe and the beautiful playing of the piano solo midway through. I hadn't gotten a true sense of Lenny's intelligent songwriting and his way with words from the few times I've heard him perform in the past; my senses were finally awakened on tunes like "Fear" (great funk/rock combo happening on that cut!) and "Be" (interesting how the song with the shortest title has the most to say). There was something else interesting I noticed: this album doesn't even sound one bit like it was released back in the 80's! Honestly, if I'd heard any of these songs on the radio, I would've thought it was some new material that Lenny just came out with. If there was the slightest hint of the familiar 80's sound, it would be found on both "Mr. Cab Driver" and "Flower Child", which also happen to be the only pair of tracks where this multi-talented musician totally rocks it out like a rock star:

1. Sittin' On Top Of The World
2. Let Love Rule
3. Freedom Train
4. My Precious Love
5. I Build This Garden For Us
6. Fear
7. Does Anybody Out There Even Care?
8. Mr. Cab Driver
9. Rosemary
10. Be
11. Blues For Sister Someone
12. Empty Hands
13. Flower Child

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