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Album: 5

Lenny Kravitz must have realized he bottomed out with the turgid Circus, so he decided to shake things up a bit on its follow-up, 5. Like any veteran in the late '90s, he dabbled in electronica, adding a few trip-hop loops and analog synths to his bedrock rock n' soul. It's enough to make 5 sound relatively fresh, at least compared to the retro dead-end of Circus, yet it sounds like Kravitz read about the idea of electronica without actually listening to any music. Anemic synths and stilted drum loops (sampled from Kravitz's playing, not old records) are scattered throughout the record, along with vaguely distorted vocals. It's not enough to make Kravitz sound hip, especially since he still loves endless funk jams and electric sitars, but it does revitalize his sound. At least for a little while. By the end of the album, his songwriting sounds as tired and unmemorable as on Circus. Without hooks, melodies, and style, Kravitz's Sly, Mayfield, Hendrix, Lennon, and Prince pastiches are a bore. 5 has a few passable cuts, yet it falls short of the quirky hero worship and melodic smarts that made his first three records so enjoyable. 5 is the fifth studio album by American rock musician Lenny Kravitz, released on May 12, 1998 by Virgin Records America. The album contained hits such as "Fly Away," and "I Belong to You", which helped Kravitz to expand his success in Europe. The album won two Grammys. It was re-issued in 1999, including Lenny Kravitz's latest single from the soundtrack of Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, "American Woman," plus a bonus track called "Without You"- initially a B-side to the lead single "If You Can't Say No." 5 reached #28 on the Billboard 200 and #18 on the UK Album Chart. As of March 2008, 5 has sold 3 million units in the U.S, over 6 million units worldwide, becoming Kravitz's most successful studio album in commercial sales. Initially, the album received mediocre reviews by some critics and its rise to commercial success was quite slow up until the point were it gained tremendous success towards the end of 1998 and throughout 1999. However, the album received multi-platinum certifications in many countries, producing a mass string of worldwide hits and becoming one of the most successful albums of 1999. Despite paling in comparison in US chart position with the artist's other albums, it managed to have a remarkably long chart-life, charting for nearly three years straight on the Billboard 200, two of which were spent in the Top 100. The album gained Kravitz multiple awards nominations and gave him his first two Grammy Awards in the Best Male Rock Vocal Performance category for the hits "Fly Away" and "American Woman". In the production of the album, Lenny worked with digital technology sounds such as synthesizers and tape loops providing the album with better modern sound. The album contained more of his 70's inspired songs, funk and soul, mixed with his rock style. It was reported that Lenny used some instruments and products, such as: * Jim Dunlop Products * D'Addario Strings * La Bella Bass Strings * E-Mu Systems Products * Monster Cable * DigiDesign Pro Tools "5", more than being named due to Lenny's fifth release, was for its religious significance and the meaning of a new beginning, after facing, for example, his mother's death, whom he dedicated the featured song, "Thinking of You". The tracklist was printed in the left side of the back CD inlay, so it is shown in the front part of the case. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.