What's irritating about Lenny Kravitz is not merely that he looks like a lesser member of the Family Stone but that he cops an attitude as well: he's the kind of guy who's just looking for a chance to corner you at a party and argue about how the 60s were a better time than today, people were more caring, more concerned about love. "The music was fucking wild, man," Kravitz has said in interviews. "You had Hendrix, Cream. . . . Now you've got fucking Milli Vanilli and Debbie Gibson." Well actually, Lenny, today we've got Nirvana. And Prince. And Public fucking Enemy, and P.M. Dawn, and U2 and R.E.M. and P.J. Harvey. The only people losing out are the ones who get their kicks from latter-day flower children like the Black Crowes or you. That being the case, Kravitz's new album, Are You Gonna Go My Way, could be worse. The title song thumps along winningly, and if you don't listen to the words tunes like the nicely arranged "Believe" or the amusingly Big Star-esque "Is There Any Love in Your Heart" ("Babe you say I'm the only one / But you're fucking all my friends") make up for the various outrages: the humorless "Angie" cop on "Sister," the humorlessly paternalistic "Just Be a Woman," the just-plain-humorless "Eleutheria." At his worse, Kravitz reminds you of that revival of Hair that played in town a while back. So smarmily and self-righteously did the actors imagine their characters that you thought, well, if that's the way kids were acting back then, maybe the hard hats had a point. Raging Slab opens. Tuesday, 7:30 PM, Aragon Ballroom, 1106 W. Lawrence; 559-1212.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Per Gustafsson.