Style: Funkified rock; compare to Stevie Wonder, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Robert Randolph
Top tracks: "Black and White America," "Life Ain't Never Been Better Than It Is Now," "Everything"
Kravitz aims again at big audio dynamics, but his ninth album brings a broader sonic diversity, mixing gospel, dancehall, pop, disco, jazz, rock, and mostly funk. It ranges from big brass (which soars on "Life Ain't Never Been Better …" and "Black and White America") to lusty tracks (like "Come on Get It" and "Boongie Drop," the latter thanks to Jay-Z's explicit guest rap). It's nothing new for Kravitz, a professing Christian, to vacillate between the flesh and the spirit. He brings a preacher's charisma when he's blending prayers and biblical references with his hit-making hooks ("Life Ain't Never …," "Faith of a Child," "Everything," "Stand"). Those lyrics are uplifting though not particularly deep, and simplistic choruses often grow repetitive. But there's some sweet ear candy.1