Lenny Kravitz

Strut (Sony)

Rating: NNN

There’s always a fear factor when you press play on a beloved artist’s late-catalogue release. Like they’ve lost themselves and started pandering to their “aging” fan base. On his 10th record, Lenny Kravitz isn’t trying to reinvent himself. Great. He’s Lenny Kravitz. He’s always made slightly psychedelic, funky rock ‘n’ roll that evokes a time a decade or three ago, and it’s the same on Strut, which gives a nod to the 70s and 80s.

Understandably, he’s lost a little youthful edge: there’s no defiant Mr. Cab Driver, for example. But the songs hold up. Bowie-esque Sex kicks things off with ample cheek. Standout The Chamber is surprisingly new wave. She’s A Beast sounds a lot like Can’t Get You Off My Mind, from his Circus album, but is still a worthy ballad with clever wordplay (“She’s a beast / Oh yes, you are, sugar”).

Oh, and badass bass-playing throughout.

Losing two of the 12 tracks – a silly version of Happy Birthday and a saccharine cover of Ooo Baby Baby – would have made it even tighter.

Top track: The Chamber


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