Scott C. (scotso) from EAST ISLIP, NY Reviewed on 3/19/2008...
Excellent Album. I have bought all of his subsequent records, hoping he would make an album equal to it. Sadly he hasn't come close. It hasn't gotten stale, and it is almost 20 years old. His masterpiece, for sure.
Thomas Magnum | NJ, USA | 05/24/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Lenny Kravitz's debut album was released in late 1989, but with its retro sounds, it could have easily have come out in 1972. Mr. Kravitz has never been shy about wearing his influences on his sleeve and Let Love Rule is full of homages to The Beatles, Prince, Elvis Costello and others. The album opens with the plucky "Sittin' On Top Of The World" and then moves into the title track which is a great song. The song starts off slowly with a strumming guitar and airy keyboard and then builds up into a frenzied ending. Mr. Kravitz was married to Lisa Bonet at the time of the recording (she shares songwriting credit on a song) and many of the songs like "My Precious Love", "I Build This Garden For Us" and "Flower Child" were obviously inspired and about their relationship. The album contains some good protest numbers like the pulsating "Mr. Cab Driver" which takes on discrimination, "Does Anybody Out There Even Care", the kinetic "Freedom Train" and the marvelous "Empty Hands". "Rosemary" may well be the best song on the album with its great lyrics and top notch vocal performance. Let Love Rule may sound like a hodgepodge of styles, but they all work together thanks to Mr. Kravitz's earnestness."
I love it, and it Rules.
H3@+h | VT | 05/29/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I became a Lenny Kravitz fan the moment I heard the song "Let Love Rule" back in 1989. I'm still a fan now, but I was obsessed with this debut and "Mama Said". He was even my first concert ever, though he opened for Tom Petty. Anyway, front to back this is one of his best, and he shows us right away that he can rock, and drop a nice slow song as well. After the title track, I especially like "I Built This Garden For Us", "Rosemary", "My Precious Love", and "Blues For Sister Someone". We also get a dose of spirituality on a few songs, like on the great "Empty Hands". I also own the LP of this, but it only has the first 10 tracks, so watch out for that. Much like The Black Crowes, Lenny wears his influences on his sleeve, but I wouldn't want it any other way."
One man band evokes psychedelic funky vibe
Cameron Boahn | NYC United States | 05/01/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Lenny has since made more polished work than this. He abandoned his all tube analog gear for a pro tools set up in the late 90s. This album none the less established who he is as a musician and songwriter. Sure he appropriates heavily from beatles, hendrix, sly stone, curtis mayfield, and others, but the way he reconstitutes the influences is pure lenny. perhaps his lyrics hark back to the naive hippy ethos, but isn't that a pleasant alterative the the burgeoning nihilism of the "everything sucks i should shoot heroin and blow out my brains" philosophy of grunge. kravitz advocates for love, tolerance, and understanding. does the fact that we have heard these messages before make them passe? jesus said "love thy neighbor." is his message irrelevant? the beatles sang "the word is love" and "all you need is love." Are these worn out cliches or immortal truths that can be reinterpreted in new ways for new generations. make up your own mind, but one thing is true - this is a great album!"
Too psychedelic for its own good, but a great way to start
29-year old wallflower | West Lafayette, IN | 12/08/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In the late 1980s, THE COSBY SHOW was the undisputed king of prime time TV & Lisa Bonet was one of its biggest stars. No doubt, her star status led to more than a little bit of condescension on the part of her new husband, musician Lenny Kravitz. The son of a TV actress (THE JEFFERSONS' Roxie Roker) himself, Lenny was just starting to even get a deal in the music business as THE COSBY SHOW was riding high in the ratings. When his 1989 debut album LET LOVE RULE came out, musicgoers & critics had no idea quite what to make of this guy who quoted Sly Stone, Jimi Hendrix & late-period Beatles as his influences, had dreadlocks for hair & just all around seemed like a leftover from 1969. Critics were the most savage in calling Lenny the "Cuisinart of rock & roll" for him handpicking certain retro sounds for his music. While they would soon come around, LET LOVE RULE in the end was a good way to debut, if not much else.Lenny is still searching for his main line on this album & this is also when his preachiness is at its height (he would let up a little with time). The title track is the perfect example, but the song is really a great one, phasing techniques & all. This shows if Lenny had to be a Beatle, chances are his choice would be John Lennon more than Paul McCartney. The psychedelic vibe continues through "I Build This Garden For Us" (again the psychedelia can be a little overpowering) & "Flower Child".Elsewhere, Lenny's got his Sly Stone & James Brown vibe working on "Freedom Train" (could have used some help in the lyric department), "Sittin' On Top Of The World" & "Does Anybody Out There Even Care". The music is funky sho'nuff, but it's of a darker hue, more of THERE'S A RIOT GOIN' ON than DANCE TO THE MUSIC.Of course, the album does have its slight snags. "Mr. Cab Driver" is a bit too confrontational, while "Fear", "Rosemary" (both written with Lisa Bonet) & "Blues For Sister Someone" go so far as to be a little naive. These songs surely are an acquired taste, but that can be expected from a first-time artist.In the end, LET LOVE RULE seemed like an album doomed from the beginning. With his wife's career bigger than his own, any objectivity towards Lenny Kravitz's music seemed a lost cause. But he would soon mature & start to develop his own identity. So really, LET LOVE RULE's only problem was that it sounded too much like a debut. Lenny was still finding his footing maybe even as the tape was rolling, making this album every bit of a work in progress. Since then, Lenny's career has been ever more about that progress."
This Cd was "Sitting on Top" of my Stereo for Months
"Lenny's first might have been his best, at least his earthiest. Raw is the one word I would use in reviewing this album. Raw by Lenny standards, that is. Of all the Kravitz, CDs, this is also his most complete. Other albums seem to lose direction and fizzle, sometimes wandering into weird R&B tunes, but this one still had my attention and my toes tapping clear through "Rosemary". This is probably his least popular project because it has no "Are You Gonna Go My Way" or "Fly Away" on it, but quality, not quanity, is the name of the game when you "Let Love Rule.""