H. R. Rondilla | Calgary, Alberta Canada | 09/16/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After reading an editorial review on Lenny's album Are You Gonna Go My Way, me being a die-hard Lenny Kravitz fan, I had to comment against the cruel words.
First of all, how many artists out there can say that they have not had any other musical influences while writing their own music? If you listen closely to most popular music of today, it pretty much all sounds alike...that is probably why it is called "Popular Music". Although this album does have songs that have similarities to other artists, the majority of the songs were written, arranged and even produced by Lenny Kravitz! Like an editor said in his review "Believe takes a more inventive approach--its chorus is in the style of the Beatles..." yes, some of the songs do emulate the artists that inspire him but the key words here are "in the STYLE of the Beatles". But don't take away Lenny's credibility and ability to write his own songs by writing such harsh opinions. But now I would like to express my views on not only this album but also on Lenny as an artist.
Can you find me an artist that does not have music that reflects their influences? It is highly unlikely. Music is a source of inspiration, and influence. Musicians always have an influence and it will always be seen and heard through their craft. If anything, the fact that after hearing Lenny's album, you were reminded of artists such as the Beatles or Led Zepplin and Bob Marley, is a positive thing. To be in the same caliber of those artists is truly a compliment. Lenny can sound like other artists...but no one can sound like Lenny.
Although I have been a Lenny fan since long before the Are you Gonna Go My Way album, I must admit, that this album was probably the one that really made me open my eyes and ears to Lenny as an artist. His songs may sound familiar, but are definitely done in LENNY'S own way. He takes a sound, and makes it better. He perfects it. He takes a familiarity and gives it his own Lenny flare. He gives critics something to talk about. I admire Lenny for being compared to other artists, but at the same time making his own music, writing his own lyrics, and playing many instruments unlike many of the artists today, which of course so many critics completely fail to mention. I will always love Lenny's music, his albums and will always "go his way"!The Are You Gonna Go My Way album rocks."
One of the best Rock albums of the year
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Lenny Kravitz follows up wildly successful multi platinum "Mama Said" with this chart scorcher that is sure to please anyone from the hard core metal junkie to the light reggae listener. It has sweet ballads crooned with Kravitz's soul searching tenor (Black Girl) as well as ear pounding guitar riffs (Are You Gonna Go My Way). He covers the emotional gambit along with a mind boggling array of instruments and recording techniques. He produces and writes almost all 11 tracks with help from members of his band Craig Ross and musical associate Henry Hirsh. He garnered many award nominations for this album and is virtually guaranteed future musical success with the unbelievable amount of vocal, musical and lyrical talent that he possesses."
Jason Stein | San Diego, CA United States | 03/21/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I think Are You Gonna Go My Way (AYGGMW) marked the turning point in Lenny's career. That point where he began to be taken seriously. I'm reviewing this cd because I feel that it, like his other four cds, is a classic recording. The hits "Are You Gonna Go My Way" and "Believe" are here plus great non-hits like "Eleutheria", "Come On And Love Me", "Heaven Help" and "Just Be A Woman." While AYGGMW may not be Lenny's most experimental recording, it is a rock and soul album that should find its way into your rock collection. A must have for any rock collector."
Lenny shook the mainstream with this 'alternative' classic!
robthompson43 | Memphis, TN USA | 08/21/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Lenny Kravitz redefined the 'alternative' scene in March of 1993 with his massive dreadlocks and career launching classic "Are You Gonna Go My Way?" after melancholy and angst-ridden bands like Pearl Jam, STP and Nirvana had dominated the airwaves for well over a year. This album made it ok to just rock again.Kravitz's influences are often-times transparent, but that doesn't prevent it from being great rock-n-roll music. While many consider the title track a direct "rip-off" from Jimi Hendrix, there are several other obvious influences throughout his music, widely ranging from John Lennon to Prince to Bob Marley to Led Zeppelin.Bearing in mind that Kravitz was still very young as a performer, "Are You Gonna Go My Way?" was an impressive accomplishment. Only three of the songs from this album (the title track, Heaven Help and Believe) made it onto the Greatest Hits album, so this album is a must for any true Kravitz fan, and certainly a great addition to the penultimate "90s" collection."
Kravitz Emerges as a Premier Artist
L.A. Scene | Indian Trail, NC USA | 03/02/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In the mid 1990s, I heard a concert promotion radio ad that was basically introducing the performer to be "The World's Greatest Rock and Roll Star". When they announced that star to be Lenny Kravitz, I must admit, I nearly drove off the road when I heard that. I had realized Kravitz had some commercial success and had a nice following, but "World's Greatest Rock and Roll Star"? - come on! However, now about a decade later, as I have begun to get a deeper appreciation for what Rock music has to offer, I now realize that perhaps there is some real merit to that radio ad. I'm still not ready to put Kravitz up there with the upper echelon of Rock with the Paul McCartneys, the Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteens, or even Billy Joels - however, it is safe to say that Kravitz could easily be one of the great revelations of the 1990s. Kravitz established his potential on his debut album, "Let Love Rule". On that album Kravitz utilized the "Minneapolis Sound" (similar to the style made famous by Prince) by incorporating a mix of Funk and Rock. By 1993, Kravitz was soon expanding his sound and his third album "Are You Gonna Go My Way" would help to take things to the next level. Kravitz also integrates his personal life experiences into this album.
Many have said that this album provides an "edge" - much of this probably resulting from his failed marriage to Lisa Bonet. While I can see this, ultimately I feel that this album actually shows more of Kravitz's development as an artist as opposed to anger.
Here is a song by song synopsis of the collection:
"Are You Gonna Go My Way": This song is all about Kravitz's guitar work as it is going to set a high level of intensity. However the percussion blends perfectly here as well. One underrated fact of this song is how Kravitz uses the spoken word "What I really want to know is..." right before the title of the song is sung "Are You Gonna Go My Way".
"Believe": On this track, Kravitz extends his sound by introducing some an Indian sounding melody to open the track. However, I find the whole way Kravitz incorporates an orchestral sound with strings and horns an even stronger sign how he has grown as an artist.
"Come on and Love Me": The percussion and bass really set the pace for this tone. Kravitz perfectly layers his guitar work on this track. Some can argue this has a retro feel, but I think this is a case where retro can be considered modern.
"Heaven Help": Piano work is going to be the story here as it provides a retro styled R&B melody to it. Another great point is how Kravitz demonstrates terrific vocal ranges here. Kravitz's words "I'm ready for love" are indicative of some of his post-divorce feelings following his failed marriage.
"Just Be a Woman": On this track, Kravitz now effectively utilizes the acoustic guitar combined with some terrific string arrangements. This song is probably reflective on Kravitz's failed marriage as he says "You ask me...how can I make it right?"
"Is There Any Love in Your Heart": Kravitz turns up the intensity with another hard-rocking sound here. While the title track has always gotten the attention, this track often gets overlooked. More reflections on his failed marriage surface here - not just in the song title, but in the lyrics such as "Your whole life is a fantasy and I'm playing the clown". There is a terrific guitar bridge about 2/3 of the way into the song.
"Black Girl": This song has another R&B feel to it. On the verses, the guitars are electric, but they take more of a complementary role to Kravitz's vocals. On this song I suddenly realized something about Lenny Kravitz, he has his own version of a falsetto. It isn't a Barry Gibb falsetto, but nonetheless it is a falsetto that can be effectively used. I also like how Kravitz "switches" gears about 2/5 into the song in terms of the rhythm of the song. There is another great guitar bridge on this song.
"My Love": This song goes all back to the guitar. In fact, this song almost has a stripped-down guitar feel to it. Possibly this goes back to more of Kravitz's feelings about his failed marriage as he uses this song to describe "his love".
"Sugar": This song also has a retro-styled 1970s R&B feel to it. I like how Kravitz mixes up his vocal ranges on this track. On this track I feel the String and horn arrangements also help build to the appeal of this song.
"Sister": This is the most underrated track on the collection and demonstrates how Kravitz has completed himself as an artist. The song opens with some terrific acoustic guitars. This is followed up by some electric guitars that "fold" into the melody beautifully. Finally some outstanding string arrangements are also layered on top of things. One of the great guitar solos in Kravitz's work is demonstrated on the middle of this track. While the guitar work is great, it ultimately is Kravtiz's passionate vocals that really hit home - particularly on the line "If they knock on your door..."
"Eleutheria": Very simply, this is a reggae-like track by Kravitz. While this wasn't my favorite track on the collection, it still demonstrates that Kravitz is not a one dimensional artist. It still is a track worth checking out.
The liner notes to this collection contain all of the lyrics as well as the musician credits. Overall, I think this is the album that really solidified Kravitz's status as an artist. This is truly the kind of "third album" I would expect from an artist on the rise. This is not only a collection Kravitz fans will enjoy, but great material for new fans to check out."