The prevailing image of Lenny Kravitz is that of a rock 'n' roller adrift in time; a guy who wishes he was around in the late '60s slinging guitar riffs with Sly, Zeppelin, and the Stones. In fact, he's unusually adept at using the vintage elements of those days to create new music, much to the annoyance of those who apparently think music should have temporal borders, and making the copying-versus-creative license debate central to most Kravitz criticism. That his songs can be spot-on as well as badly off complicates the question. Which brings us to his first new album in four years, It Is Time for a Love Revolution (Virgin). Although the Kravitz PR juggernaut is well in gear, along with a Love Revolution tour that is projected to run two years, someone missed the tiny detail of actually releasing the album before the start of the tour. It's not due out until February, leaving us to ponder the publicists' assertions that it will be a "thunderous rock 'n' roll call-to-arms" blending "soul, funk, and jazz grooves" and "undeniable anthemic lyricism." Well, cool. The only actual evidence is a couple of singles on the web: "Bring It On," a snarly rocker that sounds like a cross between T. Rex and the James Gang, and "I'll Be Waiting," a rock ballad with soulful vocals and an over-the-top symphonic wash on the chorus. But then, love is all you need. All ages.
Thu., Jan. 24, 7 p.m., 2008