Monday, August 13th, 2018

Lenny Kravitz – Low

Minnesota slowcore, the first of the Berlin Trilogy, Boots With The Fur, and now this…


Alfred Soto: Where the hell did that disco chorus come form? What’s that rattling percussive beat? Who let him keep the line “Is my sexuality creating such a tragedy?” Why do the drums sound like shit? Who is Lenny Kravitz?

Jonathan Bradley: Lenny Kravitz goes disco! Or, at least, he goes George Benson. Or, at least, he goes Style Council if they were to ever go George Benson. Or, at least, he approximates the same with all the determinedly uncharismatic effort he’s applied to, jeez, his entire career?

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: Lenny Kravitz’s core skillset has always been centered around a chameleonic ability to occupy any style of sufficiently groovy classic rock or funk — on any other material, his limitations as a stylist become evident quickly. So it’s unsurprising that he takes to the pure, Off The Wallstyle disco of “Low” so well — it’s almost a shame that the track itself never lifts higher than agreeable background music.

Maxwell Cavaseno: Terrible verses somehow giving way to a surprisingly decent bit of polite disco chorus is certainly not what I’d expect from Lenny Kravitz now that he’s lived long enough to be a moderate musical celebrity even though his musical heights are unmistakably out of his hands. Weirdly, the “artificiality” of disco suits him better than his retro-rock posture from decades before ever did, as he’s always had a tough time with transcending his vocabulary and influences. He’ll always be a pastician, but in here where you know it’s about assembly and tapestry, all the emotional flatnesses and familiarities work almost tapestry-like.

Alex Clifton: I feel like there’s a disco resurgence happening this year, although I can’t put my finger on why it’s happening. We’ve heard it from Janelle Monae and Kacey Musgraves both (in very different contexts), but Kravitz sounds like he’s doing jam-disco — “Low” clocks in close to five minutes but never feels overlong. It’s smoother than some of his earlier work, but it’s still 100 per cent a Lenny Kravitz song. I know songs like this never get airplay at the club, but if they did, I’d go out more often.

Juan F. Carruyo: A slightly ominous intro followed by a verse sporting a melody Lenny has used in about 20 other songs. Yet he remains pleasantly anonymous in spite of providing no surprises whatsoever. 

Iain Mew: An endless loop of run-of-the mill-disco, which seems like a good thing only in that he first demonstrates a funk Bon Jovi alternative that is so much worse. 

Nortey Dowuona: The flat drums echo into awkward synths as Lenny strains awkwardly over them, before soft, threadbare bass and slight, barely visible guitar licks save him. Drifting piano slips in and ties it all together.

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