Lenny Kravitz played nearly all the instruments on "It Is Time for a Love Revolution" (Virgin), his first effort in three years.

Lenny Kravitz played nearly all the instruments on "It Is Time for a Love Revolution" (Virgin), his first effort in three years. "The last record was still very natural, but it had a cleaner sound," he says. "On this one, I was really into using more of the room mics and getting a lot of spill. I wanted to hear the walls and the room."

The result is a more-stripped down feel on rockers like "Bring It On," "Love Love Love" and the fast boogie "Will You Marry Me." The riff for the latter cut dates back to sessions for 1993's "Are You Gonna Go My Way," according to Kravitz. "In actuality, it was a different song with a different melody and lyric," he says. "I pulled the riff back out and then I cut the lyric and the melody. But my guitar tech looked at me like, 'That's depressing, man. I love the riff, but it's depressing.' It was about dropping out of society. So, he challenged me. I went home that night, wrote completely different lyrics and melodies and put it down."

In addition to ballads like "I'll Be Waiting," "I Love the Rain" and "A Long and Sad Goodbye," Kravitz turns political on "Back in Vietnam" and "I Want To Go Home."

The latter is narrated by a soldier, "but that song is more from the point of, I don't care who you are or what side you're on ... no matter what, at some point, you're like, 'I've gotta get out of here,'" he says. "Maybe some guys are gung-ho. But people I know and that I've talked to, it has taken a lot of them by surprise, when you've had ideas in your head about what your life would be."