Lenny Kravitz

Greatest Hits

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Lenny Kravitz's greatest gift is that he's a master synthesist, pulling together different sounds and styles from eras past to create a sound that isn't necessarily blazingly original, but fresh due to his craft and sheer mastery of the studio. Since he was an unabashed classicist, his records often suffered the brunt of nasty criticism, but they were often very good, particularly early in his career before he indulged in the mannerisms of guitar-blasting stadium rock. Even if Circus and 5 were sunk by their own bloat, they still had good singles, as did those early albums, so the 2000 collection Greatest Hits is a terrific encapsulation of Kravitz at the peak of his talents. Certainly, there are some fan favorites missing, and the non-chronological sequencing is maddening (two of his three worst singles are within the first three songs), but it does boast the magnificent new single "Again," along with such seminal Kravitz moments as "Are You Gonna Go My Way," "Mr. Cabdriver," "Stand By My Woman," "Always on the Run," "Believe," "Let Love Rule," and "It Ain't Over Til It's Over," which is enough to make this a first-class greatest-hits compilation. After all, it doesn't just have all the main songs, it also illustrates that he indeed is a master synthesist.

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