Kravitz specializes in reviving old-time rock 'n' roll
Virgin Records.By Rob Wagner
Lenny Kravitz, rip-off artist, has released a new album entitled Circus. It's a pretty good album, if you like that blatant copy type of music. Obviously, Kravitz's touring with the Rolling Stones has greatly influenced him. His song "Can't Get You Off My Mind" steals some chords from "Wild Horses" by the Stones. I kept expecting to hear Mick Jagger jump in. Another song, "In My Life Today," sounds exactly like "Can't Always Get What You Want," also by the Stones. The chords and guitar style sound like definitive Keith Richards, and I expected to hear a choir start the song.
The song "Resurrection" very much resembles Led Zeppelin's "Rain Song." The slow chord changes, followed by the drums kicking in, and then a faster chord rhythm is unmistakable Led Zeppelin. The song "God is Love" is a copy of "Believe" off of Kravitz's last album, Are You Gonna Go My Way. It contains identical echoing vocals and electric piano.
The song "Tunnel Vision" is just plain odd. Reminiscent of "Corporal Clegg" by Pink Floyd in that it doesn't really fit in with the album, and, like "Clegg," it radically changes style in the middle. Instead, "Tunnel Vision" switches to a Kool and the Gang-style funk.
One good thing about Kravitz, though, is that he plays everything on this album. From vocals to drums to bass to guitar, he plays it all, with only occasional help on electric piano and guitar. He even "writes" his own songs.
There are also a few good points about the album. The song "Beyond the Seventh Sky" is led by the drums and high hat, and actually sounds pretty good. "Don't Go and Put a Bullet in Your Head" is a simple, but definitely cool-sounding, song. The song "Rock and Roll Is Dead" has already gotten radio airtime, and is pretty good, though repetitive.
Though Circus is a bit of a rip-off album, it could be justified. Kravitz believes that rock and roll is dead, so he could be trying to revive it by copying past rock and roll songs that worked. Two things are for sure: Circus definitely sounds better than his last album, and it is infinitely better than any inane drivel released by Live. Kravitz avoids the characteristically annoying sound he inflicted on people in Are You Gonna Go My Way. He avoids cheesy 70s style Muzak orchestrations, and, most of the time, he avoids incessantly singing, "Ooooooh!"