It's been more than a decade since Lenny Kravitz
released a decent album. His latest offering, Baptism
, is adrift in knee-slapping religious themes that make Stryper sound like Shakespeare. But you gotta give it up for the Lenster's live show, where the retro-schlock king transforms into everything great about his influences. He does the James Brown squealing-bandleader bit, the sexrobatic Prince moves and the Bob Marley hippy-love routine, and he even creates a stoned-soul-picnic vibe à la Sly and the Family Stone. Seriously, he's that good. Moreover, Kravitz hits the stage armed to the teeth with memorable tunes, from the rock-god riffage of "Are You Gonna Go My Way?" to the quietly confident ballad "It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over." Yes, you're sure to get served with latter-day sonic sewage such as "Fly Away" and "American Woman," but that's why bathroom breaks were invented.