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Black And White America CD

4.3 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (22 Aug. 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Roadrunner
  • ASIN: B0055EDBIE
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 89,731 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Product Description

KRAVITZ LENNY

BBC Review

Right at the start of Black and White America, Lenny Kravitz puts himself into context. "In 1963 my [white] father married a black woman," he sings, on the album's title-track. "And when they walked down the street they were in danger." This, then, is clearly heartfelt - and, indeed, striking - stuff. Admittedly it's not quite as striking as the album's original working title, Negrophilia, but it is plenty striking enough.

Had Black and White America been released in the same season as Stevie Wonder's immense and almost untouchable 1976 album Songs in the Key of Life, then this may well be an album about which people would still be talking. Contained within are a number of expert and quite fantastic songs. Everything is a three-and-a-half minute dollop of exquisitely joyous pop music, featuring the kind of chorus that will stick in your mind from the moment it sings its first hello. Boongie Drop features the kind of funk that puts the listener in mind of the coolest corners in the busiest of cities on the hottest of nights. Elsewhere, the album's title-track is reminiscent of the aforementioned Stevie Wonder, not just in the yearningly harmonious nature of its lyric but also in the deftness of its execution. Combining a range of styles that spans soul music, hard rock and monster-balladry, all wrapped in the kind of songwriting nous that suggests the author is a man who is very good in bed, it's even fair to say that almost everything contained on Black and White America is most enjoyable indeed.

There is, though, the nagging sense that as proficient and occasionally delightful this album is, much of it is music about music. It may be true that when it comes to artists of his ilk there is nothing new under the sun, but even so the impression made by Black and White America is that what the listener is hearing is not much more than an expertly constructed facsimile. And while late at night, or in a club, this does little to diminish the power of the music on offer here, this nagging concern is nonetheless something that does haunt this album's sincere and rather chic soul.

--Ian Winwood

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
When I am offered to review music albums, sometimes I hesitate. In the case of Lenny Kravitz' newest album "Black and White In America," I jumped at it. If there is one artist who walks to the sound of his own bell-bottomed steppin', fuzzy guitar playin', kick drum kickin', bass-pumpin' beatin' platform shoes, it's Lenny. This long awaited album is supposed to be his "funk opus," but went through a lot of changes in title (original title: 'Negrophilia') and release dates (late 2010, early 2011), but it's finally here, and you'll be glad it is here.

He's all at once as fresh and inventive as Prince, or any of the Isley Brothers, with a touch of Red Hot Chili Peppers and the ugly funk wonderfulness of James Brown. You put all of them into a blender and pour some hot buttered soul on top of it, and you've got Lenny Kravitz' sound - this album is no different in pushing the boundaries of what's hot and retro at the same time. Granted, this message is intended for Americans (because it's in part about the "American experience"), but I know my European, Latin and Sino brothers and sisters will understand the universal messages he presents us all here.

16 songs, totaling over 65 minutes:

01. Black and White America - right off the bat, the horns and the drum beat tell you that this isn't going to end wonderful, it's gonna end up with you in a hot sticky sweat, but don't forget the message - racism has been part of the fabric of America culture, whether we wanted it to be there or not. Lenny tells us through song about his past, his interracial parents who faced death for their decision in the 1960's, and to tell the children of all of these sacrifices that black and white are no longer part of what we should be - we're all Americans, and that's it.
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Format: Audio CD
The long awaited 9th studio album by Lenny Kravitz is finally amongst us.
After the delay in finishing the album, and the push backs from the original release date, the album's has been released.
Possibly a little late since the majority of songs on here were meant to be enjoyed on a hot summers day, catching the rays with a cocktail of your choice by your side and a few friends to hang out with to spread the good times. Unfortunately, the record does come with its problems that might jeopardize the credit of the artist.
As it is always the way with Lenny Kravitz, you are invited to a host of instrumentally glories that most artists just cannot muster.
Credited with playing the piano, the drums, the synthesizer and the acoustic, electric and bass guitars, this one man band only had the help of the trusted Craig Ross to aid him with a more acoustic and electric guitar magic. Oh and did I mention Hip Hop icons Jay-Z and Drake along with DJ Military feature as well! The album features different numbers inspired from late 70s/early 80s funk, reinvented for the ears of the modern generation. Possibly for the connoisseur, it might have been too much to cope with as something is missing.
There is a range of styles to choose from as you can either rock out with the guitar heavy "Come On Get It", get under the covers with the Barry White bass vibes in "Looking Back On Love" or smile in ecstasy with the fun loving bouncy "Everything".
However, there isn't really a stand out classic song that will last forever to keep this record going.
On previous albums, the 4 time Grammy award winner has brought that special spark to the front that has blown the world away.
Unfortunately you can't see it on this record.
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Format: Audio CD
After 3 years break, Lenny Kravitz brings his first funk influenced album since "5". Although released 13 years later, his ninth album "Black And White America" bears quite a few similarities to its funk predecessor with a mix of funk, rock, pop and the occasional hip-hop beat and could therefore be considered as a worthy follow up.

There are a number of good tracks. The opener "Black And White America" is a slice of pure funk straight from the 70's. "Come And Get It" and "Rock Star City Life" are stomping funk rock tunes. "Boongie Drop" is Lenny's take on contemporary pop/R&B with a ragga influence, but it does kind of work and is pretty catchy featuring Jay-Z once again. It is followed by the lead single "Stand" which is a infectious pop rock tune. "Superlove" is a cool groovy track and "Everything" is another catchy pop tinged rock tune. "I Can't Be Without You" is a mid tempo rock ballad type track and "Looking Back On Love" is a nice suave mid tempo funk tune. "Dream" is a nice heartfelt piano led ballad and "Push" is another cool pop song with a great chorus. But the two best tracks come towards the end of the album. "Life Ain't Ever Been Better Than It Is Now" is a very addictive funky track with a great bass and "The Faith Of A Child" is probably the nicest ballad he has written with a lovely chorus and bridge section.

The tracks that are not as good are not that bad. "In The Black" is just a little too repetitive and "Liquid Jesus" is quite bland and simplistic. "Sunflower" is a little too mellow and ordinary to be memorable and unfortunately features Drake.

"Black And White America" is much more uplifting and less sombre than his previous release "It's Time For A Love Revolution". Funnily enough, the same difference can be made between the very dark "Circus" and "5" which followed each other too back in the 90's. Lenny Kravitz is in a good place musically at the moment and this release is yet again another solid affair.
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