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Lenny Kravitz Raises Awareness as he Raises “Vibrations”

If you’re a product of the 1990s you remember Lenny Kravitz as the sunglass-wearing, dreadlock-slinging, easy-to-follow rock star, and cranking up his simple funky guitar-laced songs on your car’s CD player. Now, more than a quarter century removed from his 1993 hit, “Are You Gonna Go My Way,” Kravitz has recently delivered his 11th album, which is full of love, positivity and, of course, plenty of funky beats. And he still rocks the aviators.

Copyright-free image from Google

Lenny Kravitz and his band performing live on stage in Rio, Madrid. While his songs have a distinctively American sound, he has always played well to international audiences, touring this spring in Paraguay, Chile and Argentina, but not the U.S.

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Many know him as Cinna in the “Hunger Games” series, but Lenny Kravitz is first and foremost a musician, with his first Billboard Top 10 hit dating all the way back to 1991, and he recently released his 11th album.

“Raise Vibrations,” Kravitz’s most recent album released in September, is a call to action portrayed through his funky, soulful style.

He gets fired up in the most Lenny Kravitz way possible; with high notes, heavy bass and extremely passionate vocal delivery.

Even though the album contains his infamous love songs — hard to blame him since that chart-topping song from 1991, “It Ain’t Over ’Til It’s Over,” was a love song to Lisa Bonet of then-“Cosby Show” fame — for the most part this album questions authority, challenges society and states a very clear message.

With the world largely in a state of disarray between war, racial tension, finger-pointing and beyond, Kravitz keeps things positive and all about love. In fact, if you think about it, love has been the primary theme running through most if not all 11 of his studio albums for the past three decades.

Consisting of 12 new tracks “Raise Vibrations” touches on many current hot button topics and is as scolding as it is wistful and loving.

From stripped back Johnny Cash-style ballads to off-the-wall rock n’ roll dance floor jams, Kravitz delivers it all in this album.

The first half of the album starts off in true Kravitz fashion, a mix between ’70s rock, soul and blues, not afraid to break the mold.

Each song on the album offers a different beat and unique vibe, but one thing remains consistent throughout the entire album; love is the most powerful tool.

He stays true to his unique, funky and artistic side, with groovy songs like, “Low,” “Who Really Are The Monsters,” “We Can Get It All Together and It’s Enough.”

“Who Really Are The Monsters” shares a powerful message about looking in the mirror before we judge others and the fact that fighting in the world will never stop as long as we continue to attack one another.

Perhaps the song on the album that challenges people to think the most is the standout song, “It’s Enough.”

This song captivates you with its beat and then subtly discusses his stand against police brutality, war, environmental problems and racism.

Slowing things down, Kravitz incorporates some of his infamous love songs.

“Here To Love” tugs on the heart strings with its somber piano, vulnerable vocality and intense emotional lyrics.

If the emotional songs aren’t your style, Kravitz doesn’t disappoint with feel good songs like, “5 More Days ‘Till Summer.”

The title track, “Raise Vibrations,” ties together the whole album and sells the overarching theme that love is the most powerful thing we can offer, especially in a world such as this.

Throughout the entire album what I find most unique is that Kravitz never quite forms to one genre. He mixes so many styles and sounds his music seems to become a genre of its own entity.

The extreme variety in this album is the stylistic schizophrenia that has shaped his music from the beginning, which those who listen to him have come to expect.

With its radical nature, the album as a whole could be considered bonkers or brilliant, but one thing is certain, in a world where the negativity can be suffocating, this album of positivity is a breath of fresh air.

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Dani Stevenson

Dani Stevenson

Dani Jo Stevenson is a staff journalist for MBU Timeline. Stevenson is majoring in communications studies with a minor in journalism. Stevenson is a member of the tennis team at MBU. After graduation, Stevenson will be pursuing a master’s degree in speech language pathology.

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