Monday, 3 June 2013

Lenny Kravitz 'Fly Away'

Chart Peak: 1 [1 week]

Eight months in the making, the album 5 is Lenny's first record in three years and he says "It was just as exciting as making a record for the first time... I was like a kid with a box of crayons - using all the colours"... 'Fly Away', the soundtrack to the successful Peugeot ad, was Lenny's first UK No.1 in February this year.
His first Number One and his last solo Top 40 hit, though he did "of course" feature on 'Show Me Your Soul' with P. Diddy, Loon and Pharrell Williams, a Number 35 hit in 2004. His previous single peaked at 75, which gives him the unusual distinction of having appeared at opposite ends of the chart with consecutive releases, but does rather strengthen the suspicion that 'Fly Away' owes most of its success to the TV ad. In the USA, where it was used in different commercials, it peaked at 12.

The other reason I tend to suspect that it succeeded mainly off the back of the advert is that it's awful. Now, I freely admit that Kravitz is a musician I've never been keen on, partly because he seems to fancy himself so much but mainly because of what he does: he's the classic jack of all trades, who plays many instruments competently but none with real feeling and has also perfected the art of dabbling in several different styles of music and making them all equally uninteresting. 'Fly Away' is a glam-rock song so formulaic and turgid it makes Oasis sound like Stockhausen, and even Noel Gallagher would bualk at some of the lyrics "Let's go to the stars, to Jupiter or even Mars, it could all be ours" is the worst rhyming-dictionary doggerell. Playing all the instruments himself as well as producing, Kravitz fails to generate any energy or charm - I presume he was using a click-track and following it too closely. I heard this record a lot in 1999 and never once enjoyed it, and time has not been kind.

Also appearing on: Now 24, 26
Available on: 5 [Explicit]

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