"A typically diverse collection pulsating with positive energy": Lenny Kravitz's sings of love and libido on Blue Electric Light

Lenny Kravitz's Blue Electric Light is an eclectic, fun-filled double album from the retro-centric king of cool

Lenny Kravitz: Blue Electric Light cover art
(Image: © Roxie/BMG)

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It’s taken a long time for the world to come round to Lenny Kravitz’s way of thinking. Widely seen – at least in critical circles – as a 60s-obsessed anomaly at the time of his 1989 debut Let Love Rule, his classicist sound and vintage-themed aesthetic are now recognised as bywords for good taste, borne out by his lucrative side-hustle as a design consultant for brands including Rolex watches and Dom Pérignon champagne. 

His global success, meanwhile – 40 million albums sold over a glittering, Grammy-filled 35-year career – has seen him back up his hippie-ish interest in eco-centric concerns with positive action. When he’s not touring, or pursuing projects as a respected actor (notably in The Hunger Games), he spends his time at his own artistic Eden, a 1,000-acre artistic retreat deep in the rainforests of Brazil, which is also a fully functioning farm.

Six years on from 2018’s Raise Vibration, Blue Electric Light, his twelfth studio album, unsurprisingly finds him sounding refreshed and revitalised. Opener It’s Just Another Fine Day (In This Universe Of Love) sets the tone. A blissed-out, post-covid celebration of the beauty of planet Earth, its hollered cries of ‘Lockdown!’ contrast with a kaleidoscopic backdrop of dreamy harmonies and spiralling guitars. 

It’s a sonic calling card for a typically diverse collection pulsating with positive energy. So both the Star Wars-themed TK421 and the strident Paralyzed come with a rock crunch worthy of 1991’s Mama Said, while Human is a breezy blast of electro-funk with the unarguable refrain: ‘I came here to be alive, I’m here to be human.’

There’s a similarly off-the-clock feel to Prince-like gem Bundle Of Joy, and riotous T.Rex-style stomp Love Is My Religion, while Heaven welds despair at humankind’s lack of spiritual growth to a sizzling groove brimming with liquid synths and strutting funk bass. Spirit In My Heart, meanwhile, finds the 59-year-old musing guilelessly on the redemptive power of love, crooning: ‘You bring out the best in me, I love you endlessly.’ 

Kravitz’s libidinous lyrics may always prove a stumbling block for some, not least on the squelchy soul gem Honey, in which he croons: ‘It don’t take much to turn me on.’ But then, as Spinal Tap’s Nigel Tufnel once pointed out, what’s wrong with being sexy? Blue Electric Light is the perfect sonic tonic for troubled times.

Paul Moody is a writer whose work has appeared in the Classic Rock, NME, Time Out, Uncut, Arena and the Guardian. He is the co-author of The Search for the Perfect Pub and The Rough Pub Guide.