Kravitz is one of those rare artists who can illustrate his influences without ever resorting to mimicry; he actually interprets and factors the work of his heroes into his own unique concepts.

Kravitz is one of those rare artists who can illustrate his influences without ever resorting to mimicry; he actually interprets and factors the work of his heroes into his own unique concepts. On Lenny, he continues to show his unabashed affection for early Rolling Stones and late-era Beatles, while also mining a sound that deftly darts from psychedelic funk to barroom-styled guitar-rock. It's an invigorating, electric blend that is pushed over the top by lyrics that are smart and spiritual without ever pressing too hard. Save for the occasional vocal effect, Kravitz keeps his arrangements lean, providing the listener with an unfettered view into his creative psyche. He offers a collection of concise, well-crafted songs that are driven by easily consumed melodies and hooks. As always, Kravitz convincingly strikes a brash rock-star pose. But new songs like the plaintive "If I Could Fall in Love" and the riotous, hand-clapping first single, "Dig In," reveal that he has the soul of an unabashed popster.—LF

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