Music Review: Lenny Kravitz leans on the funk with glorious 'Blue Electric Light'

This cover image released by Roxie Records shows "Blue Electric Light" by Lenny Kravitz. (Roxie Records via AP)

The bass is banging, the guitars are shrieking and Lenny Kravitz is howling on “Blue Electric Light,” the rocker's best stuff in years, offering a welcome blast of funk in 2024.

There's joy and swagger in almost every track, with Kravitz showing his knack for adding cool stuff to songs — a blistering guitar part here, a sax solo there or a touch of Wurlitzer. Bongos? Sure. A talk box? Whatever, baby.

It all kicks off with a lush, arena-ready trademark Kravitz rocker in “It's Just Another Fine Day (In This Universe of Love)” and then he channels the late Prince in the addictive “TK421,” which sounds like it could have been on “Purple Rain.”

What is “TK421”? It's in the movie “Boogie Nights” as a term for a stereo upgrade and in “Star Wars” as the designation for a Stormtrooper. In Kravitz' NSFW video for the song, he strongly implies TK421 is his, ahem, personal stormtrooper. Whatever it is, you'll have a hard time finding a more pleasing song this summer.

“Honey” is a sweet seduction ballad and “Paralyzed” sees Kravitz thrillingly go full '80s heavy metal, while “Let It Ride” is more late Prince, with Kravitz pulling out a Moog and some Rollands for a synth-laden fest, making his voice almost menacing in the computer blue.

“Bundle of Joy” sounds initially like it must be about a baby, but Kravitz is back in the bedroom, admiring a lover's “savoir-faire to her silky thighs” before letting loose a very Purple One-like scream. He quivers with passion in the soulful “Stuck in the Middle” and “Human” has terrific percussions and a Depeche Mode vibe.

He gets some scolding in on our social divisions on “Love Is My Religion,” a foot-stomper with hot piano and the lyrics: “Warring and shaking our planet is baking in front of your nose/And the conclusion’s coming fast so stay on your toes.” Kravitz channels Rick James for another funky plea for us to all get along in “Heaven.”

The album ends with the title track, which fittingly sounds like it should play over the end credits of a high-octane movie franchise with cool robots and slinky models. "I just want to make love/Under blue electric light,” he sings. We are putty in his hands.


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