Lenny Kravitz

It Is Time for a Love Revolution (Virgin)

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Lenny Kravitz retro-rock Led Zeppelin

Lenny Kravitz hates it when people call him retro, contending that, like Mark McGwire, he's not here to talk about the past. Further, he says, love, revolution, and smooching should belong to every generation. But the problem with Kravitz's It Is Time for a Love Revolution is not just its bland message; it's that it shamelessly rips off David Bowie, Led Zeppelin, and Queen, among many, many others. "A Long and Sad Goodbye" sounds suspiciously like "Bohemian Rhapsody," while "I Love the Rain" is pure Zep. Kravitz even gets his J. Lo on in "Love Love Love," which anachronistically updates "Love Don't Cost a Thing" for the 1970s ("Don't need no air condition/Don't need no one to get me laid," he sings, somewhat confusingly). Mostly, however, Kravitz rips off himself — especially in "If You Want It," which borrows mood, premise, and words from his 1993 hit "Believe." Throw in some of the world's most obvious metaphors — guess what "Back in Vietnam" is about — and you've got an album only a ninth-grader could fall for.

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