From the Vault...


Lenny Kravitz

© Virgin Records

Year of Release: 1995

track listing
  • Rock And Roll Is Dead
  • Circus
  • Beyond The 7th Sky
  • Tunnel Vision
  • Can't Get You
    Off My Mind
  • Magdalene
  • God Is Love
  • Thin Ice
  • Don't Go And Put
    A Bullet In
    Your Head
  • In My Life Today
  • The Resurrection

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    Lenny Kravitz

    Lenny Kravitz has always been an extraodinary performer/songwriter. By the time of his 1995 release, Circus, his previous releases were truly exceptional. It seems that Circus was critiqued as not as great as his previous releases, but in listening to Circus, the songs contained a time in his life that was personal, where he was struggling with a divorce, and the death of his mother.

    "Rock And Roll Is Dead" is a definite hard-rocker, and you can't help to think that Jimi Hendrix may have played in this style, if he hadn't died. Kravitz's first album Let Love Rule had songs that were similar in the style (as I hear) to Elvis Costello. The title track of this album is moody, and dark, yet the vocal style can be easily compared to that of Costello's.

    "Beyond The 7th Sky" has the style known only to Kravitz. Having a much mystical atmosphere, this song captures Kravitz (as well as many of the other tunes on this album) in a dark, take-on-revenge manner. "Tunnel Vision" captures this also.

    The medium-tempo ballad "Can't Get You Off My Mind" is quite interesting... It has a somewhat Country Rock sound, as in bands such as The Eagles yet it tells the story of trying to get over someone (where in fact, Lenny Kravitz was going through a divorce with actress Lisa Bonet).

    "Magdalene" is a common rock song, Lenny Kravitz style. But the ballads seem to work better for Kravitz on this album; we can add "God Is Love" to that list... "Thin Ice" is another mystical rocker, as it is very mysterious, and you can easily tell that Lenny Kravitz was experiencing some personal problems, and he reflected them in his music.

    "Don't Go And Put A Bullet In Your Head" has a somewhat reggae feel, and with this appropriate title, it's obvious that with many problems in life, they can be worked out, and not risk committing in doing the opposite of the song's title.

    "In My Life Today" has a more positive light... realizing the good people/person in one's life. The album's closing tune, "The Resurrection" is another dark, moody tune in sound.

    It's easy to see how Circus was not as praised as Kravitz's earlier releases. The songs contained on this album reflected the personal problems that were occuring at the time for Lenny Kravitz. With his divorce, and the recent death of his mother, actress Roxie Roker of The Jeffersons. It's amazing that Lenny Kravitz managed to reflect his feelings towards music, and not do anything that would jeopardize his life, as that may have happened; but it didn't. There are some songs that could have easily fit previous releases, with its sound and style, yet Circus was the dark part in Lenny Kravitz's life, where instead of committing suicide, he put his emotions in his music, and created a album that reflected the times of his life, at that particular time. And by not committing suicide, we can still enjoy new music from him, in the years ahead.

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    Previous Review: #720
    April Wine--Harder...Faster
    Next Review: #722
    The Ides Of March--Ideology Version II.0