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Home > People

WAWIBF... Lennie Kravitz

18 June 2004

'I wish that I could fly / Into the sky / So very high / Just like a dragonfly.' Classic Kravitz lyrics there. Or at least they were when Orville the Duck originally wrote them back in 1983.

But then Lenny Kravitz has always been something of a magpie - a riff from Jimi here, a pose from Jesus there. Well, now it's new album hype time again, which means yet more embarrassing interviews, pretentious statements and utterly awful songs. Continuing the Christ theme which came to a horrible head with his video for 'Again', the latest album is called 'Baptism'. It was generally thought that after the Christ video and the Orville lyrics, Kravitz could not get any more embarrassing. It is time to think again.

'Baptism' opens with the words, 'I'm the Minister of Rock 'n' Roll' and goes quickly downhill. It's not the boasting that really irritates - he has after all got a lot to boast about, he's done very well for himself, considering his music is so horribly derivative and desperately dadrock. But what really rankles is the whingeing, and there's a lot of it on this album.

Here's a sample: 'Too many distractions run through my brain / So many girls they start to look the same / Too many options no time to choose / Too many clothes, too many shoes.' Sad really. Must be terrible. 'Which one are you? Vanessa? Kylie? Nicole? Natalie? Oh, fuck it, now where are my snailskin sandals?' He goes on: 'I'm internationally known / With platinum and gold / I've got millions sold / But after the party, I'm left standing in the cold.' He must genuinely have no idea how this sort of thing comes across. If he had any self-awareness at all, he'd implode.

Actually, having said that it's not the boasting that irritates, sometimes it is: 'I got to meet all the wonderful people / I drank with Dylan - boy, did we act the fool / I got to meet all the fabulous people / I got high with Jagger, it was really cool.' This was something he elaborated on in an interview with Gloria magazine this week. He told of how for a whole year he kept part of a joint he and Mick once shared, prompting the response: Blimey, he really is the Minister of Rock 'n' Roll. No, he really is.

But still, however much you despise Lenny Kravitz, you cannot deny that his keen ability to take the essential rebellion of rock and roll and twist it into something sterile and corporate and mind-bogglingly bland could almost be described as a talent. And for that we should really give him his due. Well done, Lenny. Well done.

Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

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