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on September 7, 2011
When I first heard 5, back in 9th grade, I hated it and had buyer's remorse. Then it grew on me and became an album that has defined a period of my life, a classic, an album that brings back memories and emotions that I felt back in high school. I felt the sameabout this new record. I had buyers remorse and was ready to hang it up, but then, guess what? It grew on me and more and more I started liking the new songs. You have to give Lenny's music a chance, he is very creative and we are not used to that in the USA. We like songs and artists who fit in boxes. Lenny can not fit in a box. The man is too big.

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on September 8, 2011
Wow, nothing beats new music from one of your favorite artist. Nothing except when it is a great release filled with an eclectic set of tunes with sharp lyrics, wonderful riffs, and more quality then you could have hoped for. For me this is exactly what happened with this purchase. Song after song, I couldn't help but love them. Whatever your doing (living on a beach in the middle of nowhere) it's working Lenny! This could quickly become my favorite album that you have ever release. I strongly recommend this to anyone who likes good rock and roll, this album is fantastic.
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on October 23, 2011
I'll keep this review short and to the point since others have gone into much further detail regarding Lenny's latest release. This is quite simply his best effort to date and most likely the one album that folks like myself who weren't all that much into him from the beginning won't mind having in their collections for good. 'Black and White America' is the sound of an artist who has greatly matured in terms of delivering songs that actually have something worthwhile to say and music that's very much on point and bears repeated listenings. Took him long enough to live up to the promise he showed back when he first came on the scene in the late '80s with his solo debut 'Let Love Rule', but he finally does so here. I only wish his previous label would've had him thoroughly scrap his largely misguided and lackluster 'Baptism' project in favor of this much superior and truly definitive piece of work when they had the chance to do so at the time. At the very least, it would've placed Lenny in FAR better standing with both fans and critics alike.
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on August 7, 2012
I *AM* the Charlie Brown of Lenny Kravitz fans in that I keep buying his cd's, believing the hype and his claims in interviews that he has returned to form, back to the more "old school" stylings of his earlier albums, and I continue to have the football yanked from me before I'm anywhere close to kicking it as I buy cd after cd from Kravitz that are all VERY mediocre.

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. I actually like the r&b stylings from earlier Kravitz releases and do appreciate that genre, but he hasn't done it very well at all since his first few albums and his rock stuff just keeps getting more and more generic.

All-Music's description of this as "aural candy" is completely accurate, although I think they meant it as a compliment. Not so with me as I just do not find much substance here at all. The only thing good about this cd for me is that it relieves me of having to question whether or not I should buy his next one.

Sorry Lenny, but I'm no longer going your way.
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on August 30, 2011
Dear Music Appreciator,

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.


Constant Listener
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on October 15, 2011
This album by Lenny Kravitz is his strongest album to date. The album abounds with catchy melodies that have strong hooks. The album combines a rock and funk style with a variety of other influences that keep the listener engaged.

In case you are interested,there are at least 3 different versions of this album that I know of. The regular USA version, the import deluxe version, and the Target version. I have the 2 cd Target version which comes in a thick digi pack with a second disc containing 6 bonus tracks.

If you like James Brown,Jimmi Hendrix, Marvin Gaye, Elvis Costello,Rick James, and Sean Paul, I believe you will like this album.I seem to hear all of these influences in this collection of first rate material.

This is one of the best albums to come out this year. It will appeal to music fans who like catchy melodies with a rock-funk edge, strong hooks, interesting lyrics.
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on August 18, 2013
Another strong outing for Lenny. Couple of excellent and couple of skippable songs but overall very good and recommended. He's been making solid and sound music for the last 25 years, no small feat. One can definitely count on him every couple of years making albums that mostly stand for high standards of rock.
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on March 24, 2012
I'd really like to give this 2.5 stars, but will settle on 3 since that is defined as "It's OK". That's exactly how I feel about B&W America. It's OK. About half the album is good Lenny Kravitz and the other half sounds like he's coasting. And this is coming from a guy that usually enjoys Kravitz and will defend him to those that dismiss him as a copycat or unoriginal. I'll probably still buy the next Kravitz album - this one didn't disappoint me enough to turn me off of Lenny forever, but he'd better really kick the jams next time.
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on September 26, 2011
This cd is a must buy for all Lenny Kravitz fans.It is a combination of good, strong lyrics, catchy tunes and awesome guitar riffs and brass. This cd will make you fall in love with Lenny's music all over again. I smell Grammy gold here. There are some strong strongs like 'black and white america' and 'faith of a child'.
The guitar riffs that make Lenny famous are to be found in 'come and get it' 'everything' and 'rock star city life'.
He has come back with a real bang. This is one of the best albums for the year.
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on October 2, 2011
I am a life long fan of Lenny Kravitz and I even got to meet him once. This Cd seems more like the classic Lenny that I love vs. his last two CDs which while good, don't capture his true ability like "Lenny" and "Are you Gonna Go My Way" do. The sound is great and the lyrics deep. If you are really into Lenny you're gonna like this one!
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