★★ Raise Vibration BMG. CD/DL/LP Eleventh, try-too-hard album from dogged rock revivalist.
The early promise of Lenny Kravitz’s retro-recording/classic tunesmith obsessions was quickly dimmed by diversions into trip hop and, by 2014’s Strut, a shuffle between glam rock and disco. Kravitz’s stylistic schizophrenia remains on Raise Vibration, whether in the early-‘80s electro beats of Who Really Are The Monsters? or the What’s Going On moves of It’s Enough. Production-wise, he’s on fairly safe ground, but it’s the former’s platitudes (“The war won’t stop as long as we keep dropping bombs”) that set the lyrical tone, which reaches its nadir with the hectoring and hackneyed one-world message of piano ballad Here To Love (“We are just one human race”). Even the back story of Johnny Cash – Kravitz being comforted by the country behemoth immediately after finding out his mother had died – is squandered on six minutes of schmaltz.