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Lenny Kravitz - 5

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5

Lenny Kravitz

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Language available : english

Lenny Kravitz must have realized he bottomed out with the turgid Circus, so he decided to shake things up a bit on its follow-up, 5. Like any veteran in the late '90s, he dabbled in electronica, adding a few trip-hop loops and analog synths to his bedrock rock n' soul. It's enough to make 5 sound relatively fresh, at least compared to the retro dead-end of Circus, yet it sounds like Kravitz read about the idea of electronica without actually listening to any music. Anemic synths and stilted drum loops (sampled from Kravitz's playing, not old records) are scattered throughout the record, along with vaguely distorted vocals. It's not enough to make Kravitz sound hip, especially since he still loves endless funk jams and electric sitars, but it does revitalize his sound. At least for a little while. By the end of the album, his songwriting sounds as tired and unmemorable as on Circus. Without hooks, melodies, and style, Kravitz's Sly, Mayfield, Hendrix, Lennon, and Prince pastiches are a bore. 5 has a few passable cuts, yet it falls short of the quirky hero worship and melodic smarts that made his first three records so enjoyable.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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5

Lenny Kravitz

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1
Live
00:05:10

Terry Manning, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Craig Ross, Composer, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Lenny Kravitz, Producer, Mixer, Drums, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Hammond Organ, Recording Arranger, Background Vocalist, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Nehemiah Heild, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Michael Hunter, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Harold Todd, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Sunovia Piere, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Natalie Dekoning, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer

(C) 1999 Virgin Records America, Inc. ℗ 1999 Virgin Records America, Inc.

2
Supersoulfighter
00:04:58

Terry Manning, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Craig Ross, Moog Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Lenny Kravitz, Composer, Producer, Mixer, Drums, Guitar, Moog Bass, Recording Arranger, Background Vocalist, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Angie Stone, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - George Laks, Moog Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Tenita Dreher, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Stefanie Bolton, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer

(C) 1999 Virgin Records America, Inc. ℗ 1999 Virgin Records America, Inc.

3
I Belong To You
00:04:17

Lenny Kravitz, Producer, Mixer, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist

(C) 1999 Virgin Records America, Inc. ℗ 1999 UMG Recordings, Inc.

4
Black Velveteen
00:04:48

Terry Manning, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lenny Kravitz, Producer, Mixer, Drums, Guitar, Synthesizer, Mellotron, Background Vocalist, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist

(C) 1999 Virgin Records America, Inc. ℗ 1999 UMG Recordings, Inc.

5
If You Can't Say No
00:05:16

Terry Manning, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lenny Kravitz, Producer, Mixer, Guitar, Keyboards, Hammond Organ, Drum Programming, Recording Arranger, Background Vocalist, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist

(C) 1999 Virgin Records America, Inc. ℗ 1999 Virgin Records America, Inc.

6
Thinking Of You
00:06:24

Lysa Trenier, Composer - Terry Manning, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Craig Ross, Guitar, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Lenny Kravitz, Producer, Mixer, Drums, Guitar, Keyboards, Percussion, Background Vocalist, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist, Bass (Vocal) - Tom Edmonds, Engineer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

(C) 1999 Virgin Records America, Inc. ℗ 1999 Virgin Records America, Inc.

7
Take Time
00:04:31

Terry Manning, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lenny Kravitz, Producer, Mixer, Cymbals, Drums, Guitar, Percussion, Piano, Background Vocalist, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Angie Stone, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Tenita Dreher, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Stefanie Bolton, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer

(C) 1999 Virgin Records America, Inc. ℗ 1999 Virgin Records America, Inc.

8
Fly Away
00:03:41

Terry Manning, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lenny Kravitz, Producer, Mixer, Drums, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals, Recording Arranger, Background Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist

(C) 1999 Virgin Records America, Inc. ℗ 1998 UMG Recordings, Inc.

9
It's Your Life
00:05:02

Terry Manning, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Craig Ross, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Lenny Kravitz, Producer, Mixer, Drums, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Recording Arranger, Conga, Background Vocalist, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Michael Hunter, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Harold Todd, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - George Laks, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer

(C) 1999 Virgin Records America, Inc. ℗ 1999 Virgin Records America, Inc.

10
Straight Cold Player
00:04:19

Terry Manning, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Craig Ross, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Lenny Kravitz, Producer, Mixer, Guitar, Recording Arranger, Conga, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Jack Daley, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Cindy Blackman, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Michael Hunter, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Tom Edmonds, Saxophone, Asst. Recording Engineer, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Harold Todd, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer

(C) 1999 Virgin Records America, Inc. ℗ 1999 Virgin Records America, Inc.

11
Little Girl's Eyes
00:07:44

Terry Manning, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Craig Ross, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Lenny Kravitz, Producer, Mixer, Drums, Guitar, Synthesizer, Moog Bass, Recording Arranger, Background Vocalist, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Angie Stone, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Tenita Dreher, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Stefanie Bolton, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer

(C) 1999 Virgin Records America, Inc. ℗ 1999 Virgin Records America, Inc.

12
You're My Flavor
00:03:48

Terry Manning, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Craig Ross, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Lenny Kravitz, Producer, Mixer, Drums, Guitar, Background Vocalist, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist, Bass (Vocal)

(C) 1999 Virgin Records America, Inc. ℗ 1999 Virgin Records America, Inc.

13
Can We Find A Reason?
00:06:29

Terry Manning, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Craig Ross, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Lenny Kravitz, Producer, Mixer, Drums, Guitar, Synthesizer, Recording Arranger, Background Vocalist, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist, Bass (Vocal) - Susan Marshall, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Jacquie Johnson, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer

(C) 1999 Virgin Records America, Inc. ℗ 1999 Virgin Records America, Inc.

14
American Woman
00:04:24

Jim Kale, ComposerLyricist - Cummings, ComposerLyricist - Lenny Kravitz, Producer, Drums, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Percussion, Clapping, Background Vocalist, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Bass (Vocal) - Stephen Dorff, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Henry Hirsch, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mark Browne, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Randolf Charles Bachman, ComposerLyricist - Alex Alvarez, Moog Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Matthew Knobel, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Gerry Peterson, ComposerLyricist

(C) 1999 Virgin Records America, Inc. ℗ 1999 UMG Recordings, Inc.

15
Without You
00:04:45

Terry Manning, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lenny Kravitz, Producer, Mixer, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Keyboards, Synthesizer, Drum Programming, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist

(C) 1999 Virgin Records America, Inc. ℗ 1999 Virgin Records America, Inc.

Album Description

Lenny Kravitz must have realized he bottomed out with the turgid Circus, so he decided to shake things up a bit on its follow-up, 5. Like any veteran in the late '90s, he dabbled in electronica, adding a few trip-hop loops and analog synths to his bedrock rock n' soul. It's enough to make 5 sound relatively fresh, at least compared to the retro dead-end of Circus, yet it sounds like Kravitz read about the idea of electronica without actually listening to any music. Anemic synths and stilted drum loops (sampled from Kravitz's playing, not old records) are scattered throughout the record, along with vaguely distorted vocals. It's not enough to make Kravitz sound hip, especially since he still loves endless funk jams and electric sitars, but it does revitalize his sound. At least for a little while. By the end of the album, his songwriting sounds as tired and unmemorable as on Circus. Without hooks, melodies, and style, Kravitz's Sly, Mayfield, Hendrix, Lennon, and Prince pastiches are a bore. 5 has a few passable cuts, yet it falls short of the quirky hero worship and melodic smarts that made his first three records so enjoyable.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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