Sure, 5 gave Lenny Kravitz a career revival, thanks to a really big hit with the didactic, clumsy "Fly," and he followed it with a hit that was equally inexplicable -- a lumbering, dunderheaded cover of the Guess Who's "American Woman," which surely benefited from its presence on the blockbuster Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me and Heather Graham's accompanying, chest-grabbing video -- and equally distasteful. Combined with the lackluster Circus, it was easy to assume that Kravitz had plateaued, deciding to recycle lame sub-Hendrix stadium rock instead of crafting the kind of lush, post-psychedelic soul that made his first three records so fine. Then, out of nowhere, he threw out the lovely "Again" as a new track for Greatest Hits, setting the stage for the return to form that's Lenny. This, not the empty hard rock of Circus and 5, finds Lenny Kravitz at the peak of his powers, crafting classic rock homages that get by not only on their melodic force but in sterling studiocraft that may shamelessly worship classic rock, but gets the sound and texture right. Kravitz has gotten to the point that his blend of album rock, smooth soul, hippie love, and hipster pop is now his own musical signature -- yes, it's still possible to play "spot the influence," but it's all blended better and presented with an offhand grace, particularly in how the gorgeous, enveloping ballads and mid-tempo pop is punctuated by the rockers that sound much fiercer in this context. There may not be singles that are as immediately grabbing as "It Ain't Over Til It's Over," "Let Love Rule," and "Are You Gonna Go My Way," but there are no dull spots, either, and this easily stands alongside his first three albums as a set of classy, near-irresistible pop for listeners weaned on classic and college rock, which is a wholly welcome surprise.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine