Lenny (album)

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Lenny
Studio album by Lenny Kravitz
Released October 30, 2001 (U.S.)
Recorded 2000-2001
Miami, Florida, U.S.
Genre Hard rock, R&B, alternative rock
Length 50:21
Label Virgin
Producer Lenny Kravitz
Lenny Kravitz chronology
Greatest Hits
(2000)
Lenny
(2001)
Baptism
(2004)
Singles from Lenny
  1. "Dig In"
    Released: August 13, 2001
  2. "Stillness of Heart"
    Released: January 29, 2002
  3. "Believe in Me"
    Released: April 23, 2002
  4. "If I Could Fall in Love"
    Released: July 30, 2002
  5. "Yesterday Is Gone"
    Released: November 11, 2002

Lenny is the sixth album and seventh recording by Lenny Kravitz, released in October 2001 through Virgin Records. It reached #12 on the Billboard 200 and #55 on the UK Albums Chart. As of March 2008, Lenny has sold 724,000 units in the U.S, and approximately 3 million units worldwide.

The lead single, "Dig In", which reached #31 in the United States, was the album's most successful song that helped Kravitz win his fourth consecutive Grammy Award in the Best Male Rock Vocal Performance, while the song "If I Could Fall in Love" was featured on the Blue Crush soundtrack and gave Kravitz yet another nomination in the aforementioned category in 2003.

Album background[edit]

Stephen Thomas Erlewine wrote for Allmusic that "5 gave Lenny Kravitz a career revival, thanks to a really big hit with "Fly Away", and he followed it with a hit, the cover of the Guess Who's "American Woman", which surely benefited from its presence on the blockbuster Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. Then, he threw out "Again" as a new track for Greatest Hits (wh[ich] sold over 3,000,000 copies worldwide), setting the stage for the return to form that's Lenny."[1] Kravitz has joined the ranks of Michael Jackson, Prince, George Michael, writing, arranging, producing and performing every song on the album, creating a minimalist one-man show of acoustic and electric guitars, live percussion and drum programming.[2]

Music[edit]

The opening track, "Battlefield of Love", is built around a rudimentary guitar riff reminiscent of Grand Funk Railroad—on which Lenny incorporates a wah-wah solo into the mix.[3] Fourth single "If I Could Fall in Love" and first single (described as "a gritty rocker" by Slant[2]) "Dig In" make use of electric guitar work, with simple structures and pop melodies that have become Kravitz staples.[2] Slant also said "'Dig In' evokes Sheryl Crow at times—only with slightly less keen lyrical content." "Yesterday Is Gone" was said by Entertainment Weekly to have a "Beatles feel, but [it] no longer feels like [Lenny's] consciously trying to rewrite 'Tomorrow Never Knows'."[3] Slant elaborated further, "Kravitz's neo-hippie sentiments abound on tracks like 'God Save Us All' and 'Stillness of Heart' ("I'm feeling incomplete/What am I buying/My soul is crying")."[2] "The stripped-down approach works well throughout the plaintive ballad 'Believe in Me', which sounds like a low-tech Seal song. The amusingly Chuck Berry-ish story line of the hard-charging 'Bank Robber Man', is based on a real-life incident in which the star was mistaken for a criminal and busted by Miami police officers last year. Do you think that I'm the one that did it/Just because I'm tan?/Just then the officer at hand said/'I don't give a damn that you are in a rock and roll band,' Kravitz sings, and for once the social commentary doesn't feel contrived."[3]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[1]
Billboard (positive)[4]
Blender 3/5 stars[5]
Entertainment Weekly B−[3]
Q 4/5 stars[5]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[6]
Slant Magazine 3/5 stars[2]
USA Today 3/4 stars[7]

Initial critical response to Lenny was positive. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album has received an average score of 69, based on 12 reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews".[5] Stephen Thomas Erlewine wrote a positive review for Allmusic, commenting that "There may not be singles that are as immediately grabbing as "It Ain't Over 'til It's Over", "Let Love Rule" and "Are You Gonna Go My Way", but there are no dull spots, either, and this easily stands alongside his first three albums as a set of classy, near-irresistible pop for listeners weaned on classic and college rock, which is a wholly welcome surprise."[1] Tom Sinclair wrote for Entertainment Weekly that "While it's hard not to wish that Kravitz's music was just a few degrees better than it actually is, he has improved over the years."[3]

Sal Cinquemani wrote for Slant Magazine that "the singer's classic rock influence (and devoted recreation of it) is once again evident on Lenny, with tracks like "Yesterday Is Gone" and "A Million Miles Away" recalling the crisp harmonies of John Lennon and the electric guitar riffs of Jimi Hendrix."[2] Billboard wrote that "It's an invigorating, electric blend that is pushed over the top by lyrics that are smart and spiritual without ever pressing too hard."[5] Blender commented about "its 12 tracks", writing that "they are unusually raucous and raw, as Kravitz finds a comfort zone with turbocharged punk and arena rock."[5] Rolling Stone perceived that "Nothing on Lenny can match "Again", but he gets close sometimes, lumbering with a meatball sense of purpose that's all his own."[5] While Q magazine concluded that "As before, it's a heady swirl of rock, soul and hippy lyrics. However, it feels fantastic and, unless the record company is snoring soundly, it's full of hits."[5]

Track list[edit]

All songs composed by Lenny Kravitz except where noted.

  1. "Battlefield of Love" – 3:14
  2. "If I Could Fall in Love" (Lenny Kravitz, Craig Ross) – 4:21
  3. "Yesterday Is Gone (My Dear Kay)" – 3:52
  4. "Stillness of Heart" (Lenny Kravitz, Craig Ross) – 4:15
  5. "Believe in Me" (Lenny Kravitz, Henry Hirsch) – 4:41
  6. "Pay to Play" – 2:49
  7. "A Million Miles Away" – 4:32
  8. "God Save Us All" – 3:53
  9. "Dig In" – 3:37
  10. "You Were in My Heart" – 5:29
  11. "Bank Robber Man" – 3:31
  12. "Let's Get High" – 5:39
  13. "Again" (Stankonia remix featuring Outkast) – 4:09 (Japanese bonus track)
Bonus Japanese acoustic CD
  1. "Rosemary" – 5:35
  2. "Can't Get You Off My Mind" – 4:38
  3. "God Is Love" – 4:28
  4. "Flowers for Zoe" – 2:48
  5. "A Million Miles Away" – 4:32
  6. "God Save Us All" – 3:49
  7. "Yesterday Is Gone (My Dear Kay)" – 3:56
  8. "Stillness of Heart" – 4:20

Singles[edit]

  • "Dig In" #31 (US Hot 100), #7 (US Adult Top 40)
  • "Stillness of Heart" #44 (UK Top 75), #18 (US Adult Top 40)
  • "Believe in Me"
  • "If I Could Fall in Love" #40 (US Adult Top 40)

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Austria (IFPI Austria)[8] Gold  
Canada (Music Canada)[9] Platinum 100,000^
Germany (BVMI)[10] Platinum 300,000^
Italy (FIMI)[11] 2× Platinum 200,000*
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[12] Platinum 40,000x
United States (RIAA)[13] Platinum 1,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Lenny - Lenny Kravitz - Allmusic Review". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 23 October 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Cinquemani, Sal (30 October 2001). "Lenny Kravitz - Lenny - Music Review - Slant". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 23 October 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Sinclair, Tom (2 November 2001). "Lenny by Lenny Kravitz Review - Music Reviews and News - EW.com". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 23 October 2011. 
  4. ^ "Billboard Review". Billboard. 2001-11-24. Archived from the original on 2001-11-13. Retrieved 2012-05-06. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g "Lenny Kravitz: Lenny (2001): Reviews". Metacritic. CNET Networks, Inc. Retrieved 2011-10-23. 
  6. ^ Sheffield, Rob (2001-10-16). "Lenny Kravitz: Lenny : Music Reviews". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 2007-11-04. Retrieved 2012-05-06. 
  7. ^ Gardner, Elysa (2001-10-30). "Lenny Kravitz, Lenny". USA Today. Retrieved 2013-06-16. 
  8. ^ "Austrian album certifications – Lenny Kravitz – Lenny" (in German). IFPI Austria. Retrieved July 12, 2012.  Enter Lenny Kravitz in the field Interpret. Enter Lenny in the field Titel. Select album in the field Format. Click Suchen
  9. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Lenny Kravitz – Lenny". Music Canada. Retrieved July 12, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Lenny Kravitz; 'Lenny')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved July 12, 2012. 
  11. ^ Felice Liperi (June 8, 2002). "Zucchero, Kravitz & Co. tutto in una notte live". la Repubblica (in Italian). Retrieved July 12, 2012. 
  12. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Lenny Kravitz; 'Lenny')". Hung Medien. Retrieved July 12, 2012. 
  13. ^ "American album certifications – Lenny Kravitz – Lenny". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved July 12, 2012.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH