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Black and White America
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Black and White America was written in reaction to a documentary Kravitz saw about racism in the post-Obama United States. Amidst the defiant lyrics, the songwriter references his own family history, and the experiences of his parents as an interracial couple in the 1960s. Though the sonic emphasis of Black and White America may land squarely on the funk, the force behind such guitar-driven smashes as "Fly Away" and "Are You Gonna Go My Way" hasn't turned his back on rock. Songs like "Rock Star City Life," and the first single, "Stand," give the album a healthy dose of crunching riffs.
The overwhelming emotion on Black and White America is the feel of optimism, faith and hope.
Top Customer Reviews
For my money, his '5' album was a sonic step forward and a collection of (mostly) solid songs, so even though it is very different from his first 4 albums, I had no problem with it and in fact have it as one of my favorites (along with "Are You Gonna Go My Way" and "Mama Said").
But the mainstream success of that album and even bigger success of the single he did for the Austin Powers soundtrack (his cover of the Guess Who's "American Woman") seemed to have sent the wrong message to Kravitz, that if he stuck to a more modern and pop-sounding direction, he'd sell more albums. And maybe he has, but nothing he's done since 1998 has been what I'd call a solid album (though some, like "Baptism", have their moments), and this is easily his worst.
For years, Kravitz has been panned for "oversimplistic" lyrics, a criticism I never agreed with, but one listen of the title track and I see what they mean. "Come On And Get It" is the blatant attempt at rock radio, but like past tracks such as "Dig In" and "Where Are We Running", this one leaves me cold. Radio needs a single, ok, I get it, but these types of tracks do nothing for me.
Throw in collaborations with Drake and Jay-Z and there's just not much here for us fans that liked Kravitz from the beginning.Read more ›
Here are three reasons to buy this music:
1. You don't mind a little message with your music - artists that imbue their music with explorations of racial, social, and political issues fascinate and challenge you and you would rather hear something with some brains behind it than the flavor of the week trying to burn some sickly catchy beat into your brain that you will love at first and later wish you'd never heard after the one hundred thousandth time you hear it. In other words, you don't waste your money on cotton candy at the fair.
2. You are the kind of person who really appreciates Marvin Gaye and James Brown. You are the kind of person who likes to get funky. You are the kind of person who dances around the room with headphones on, not earbuds, but headphones, real headphones, like shut out the world on the subway headphones that you can hear music really well in - you may have a room-dancing con headphones moment or two with this album - you might even buy this album on vinyl, I don't know.
3. You have the intelligence and the patience to realize that although you might be all excited and dancing with the first track of a new album and then get a little bored and maybe even fall asleep on the couch because it's too late at night, if you listen to some albums over and over again they will eventually come alive for you in a meaningful way and you will be glad you stuck with it. Some of the best music has to grown on you awhile before it sticks.
BLACK AND WHITE AMERICA will stick if you give it a chance.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This may be Lenny's best album to date. He has diversified his sound. For Lenny Kravitz fans it's a must have.Published 5 months ago by Alexander M. Simon
Excellent work this, from the first track on. It didn't get the attention of other Kravitz LPs but should have, it's an album where the songs sound like Lenny's as opposed to those... Read morePublished 5 months ago by David P. Weber
Black & White America is the best peice of artistry by Lenny Kravitz since Let Love Rule. Words cannot express the many layers, instruments, lyrics, which all mash up to be the... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Traci Waller
It's Lenny! You can't go wrong with his creative genius at play. Track for track it's a good CD. If you have his earlier works then this is the continuing journey.Published 12 months ago by Robert
Lenny at his best. Excellent melodies and lyrics worth the sing-a-long. Good blend of playfulness and complexity both musically and thematically. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Cindy E.