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