Michael Endelman
April 30, 2004 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Two Reasons To Turn the Radio On…

[ON] LENNY KRAVITZ ”Where Are We Runnin’?”

Lenny still sounds like he’s auditioning for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but that’s cool with us. His new slab of retro-rock is two and a half minutes of piston-pumping drums, buzzsaw guitars, and shallow, scream-along lyrics. A trashy rock treat. Grade: A-

[ON] AVRIL LAVIGNE ”Don’t Tell Me”

It’s not as catchy as ”Complicated,” but the lead-off single from Avril’s second CD (due May 25) is a midtempo teenage kiss-off anthem that’ll have the kids scribbling in their diaries for days. Plus, Mom and Dad will dig the pro-chastity message. Grade: B

[OFF] JOJO ”Leave (Get Out)”

Here’s an example of music-industry calculus at its worst. Slinky R&B plus Avril wannabe equals JoJo, a 13-year-old Bostonian on Timbaland’s label. She’s got decent soul pipes, but this cliched girl-power track should be put in a ’90s time capsule with Scary Spice. Grade: C-

[OFF] MARIO WINANS ”I Don’t Wanna Know”

When the Fugees sampled Enya for their 1996 single ”Ready or Not,” it was cool, spooky, and vaguely transgressive. When R&B producer-turned-singer Mario Winans uses the exact same snippet for this new lightweight jam, it’s just lazy. Grade: C

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