ARTIST: Lenny Kravitz
TITLE: Let Love Rule
YEAR RELEASED: 1989
CHART ACTION: #61 US, #56 UK
SINGLES: Let Love Rule (#89 US, #5 Alternative, #23 Mainstream Rock, #39 UK), I Built This Garden for Us (#25 Alternative, #83 UK), Be, Mr. Cab Driver (#58 UK), Does Anybody Out There Even Care
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Sittin’ on Top of the World, Fear
LINEUP: Lenny Kravitz with some help on strings and piano help from his engineer Henry Hirsch.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Son of a Hollywood actor releases a decent one-man-band effort that’s at times engaging, and at times overblown.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: If you can, remove yourself from the career of Lenny Kravitz, musical chameleon, and just focus on this one record. He definitely shows his hippy-dippy influences along with some far reaching social commentary. At times, it works, especially when he’s focused on his subjects and not straining to make a point.
At its peak, it’s great. It sounds very tight, as many one-man recordings sound, but it doesn’t sound fake. It is an organic sound he gets like a band is playing with him. This record has a good sense of melody and hooks too, and the production is on point.
The good outweighs the bad here, and bad is subjective. He just over-reaches at times, trying to swing for the lyrical fences. I guess I would to if I thought I had one chance to make a statement. He got other chances, as you know.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Two songs had lyrics by Lisa Bonet. Kravitz was married to her at the time.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, with live cuts and demos. It’s not streaming, though.
GRADE: B+: I loved this record when it came out, but I only play it in fits and starts now (and skip a few tracks depending on mood). It’s quality, especially if you don’t mind some throwbacks to hippie sensibilities.