Album: Strut

"Strut" is the tenth studio album by American rock musician Lenny Kravitz, released on September 23, 2014. The album, released by Kravitz's own record label Roxie Records and distributed by Kobalt Label Services, got mixed to positive reviews from music critics. Mixing Kravitz's signature soul, funk, and rock sound elements, the album explores styles of love, passion, and the pursuit of individual flexibility. "Strut" debuted at number 19 on the Billboard 200 chart and spawned three songs, consisting of the Billboard Adult Alternative hit, "The Chamber".

Background and Recording
After a three-year hiatus from the studio, Lenny Kravitz returned to deal with "Strut". The album was taped in Bahamas, Paris, and at his own house studio in Los Angeles. Kravitz played most of the instruments on the album and also took on the functions of manufacturer and engineer. He teamed up with his long time guitar player, Craig Ross, who co-wrote the songs "New York City" and "She's a Beast". Kravitz, in an interview with Rolling Stone, explained the album as "a genuine rock & roll record" and a "event of the analog world".

The recording process for "Strut" marked a departure from Kravitz's previous albums, as he chose to record the tunes as live takes, instead of layering private tracks. He aimed to catch the energy and spontaneity of a live performance, which he thought was vital to preserving the passion and sincerity of the songs. This technique lent the album a raw and organic quality often missing out on from contemporary rock music.

Track Listing and Singles
"Strut" consists of twelve tracks, and its total sound is infused with vintage and modern-day rock textures, with elements of funk, soul, and reggae. The album opens with "Sex", a pulsating rocker that sets the tone for the electrifying, guitar-driven tunes ahead. The album's lead single, "The Chamber", is a catchy, sinuous groove that showcases Kravitz's powerful vocals and signature guitar riffs.

"Dirty White Boots", the 2nd single from the album, is a positive, cool number that highlights Kravitz's abilities as a multi-instrumentalist. "New York City", co-written by Craig Ross, is an anthemic tribute to the city which influenced Kravitz's childhood and musical career. Other standout tracks include the emotional "Strut", the introspective "Frankenstein", and the heart-wrenching ballad "The Pleasure and the Pain".

Reception and Legacy
Upon its release, "Strut" got mixed to positive evaluations from music critics. While some applauded the album's classic rock feel and Kravitz's steady passion for his craft, others felt it lacked originality and relied too greatly on fond memories. The album achieved moderate commercial success, debuting at number 19 on the Billboard 200 chart and number 16 on the UK Albums Chart. "Strut" earned Kravitz his very first top 20 album in over a decade and re-affirmed his importance as a versatile and long-lasting artist.

In conclusion, Lenny Kravitz's 2014 album "Strut" is a testament to his commitment to developing genuine, vintage-inspired rock music. Blending aspects of funk, soul, and rock, the album is a raw and passionate offering that showcases Kravitz's varied noise and unapologetic love for his craft. While it might not have actually been a groundbreaking release, "Strut" serves as a suggestion that the spirit of rock & roll is still alive and well in an ever-changing musical landscape.

Artist: Lenny Kravitz

Lenny Kravitz Lenny Kravitzs life, music & acting career, with quotes & insights into his versatile talents. From Let Love Rule to Grammy wins & inspiring moments.
More about Lenny Kravitz

Other Albums by Lenny Kravitz