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Critical Fatwa 

Week of February 2, 2006

All hail "Are You Gonna Go My Way." That slice of '70s-meets-'90s mass-market rock was a nice break from the sour-faced caterwauling of the "alternative" years. But Lenny Kravitz has far outstayed his welcome, and now he has debased himself for Absolut vodka. For slapping on the assless chaps and walking the street, we pronounce a fatwa!

Now, we do not hold with those who yell "sellout" every time a musician dares to make a dollar. But Kravitz has debased himself by writing a song specifically for the middle-brow vodka company. The song, "Breathe," succeeds in capturing the soul of Absolut: It is music for people who don't like music, as Absolut is alcohol for people who don't like booze. The tepid, dance-beat-driven song can play while these people sip their "vodka-cran" or "cosmo" and talk of the Da Vinci Code. It can play while they dry-hump on the dance floor. It can play while they have the type of intercourse that begins with the woman lighting a scented candle.

Fatwa, Lenny! Enjoy your new career as a jingle-writer. It is quite a career trajectory. And at the end of your life, when you lay rotted by age and disease, as your final gasps of air drain from your lungs, may you hear the call of the afterlife, and may it be the opening beat of "Breathe," to play in your ears for eternity. It is written.

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