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splendid > reviews > 11/20/2002
His Name Is Alive
His Name Is Alive
Last Night
Beggars Group/4AD


Format Reviewed: CD

Soundclip: "Last Night"

Buy me now
Last Night is a perfectly serviceable mellow slow-jam R&B record -- and that's a damned shame. A few years back, Warn Defever was making some fucked-up, wonderful electronic-tinged pop music. Ever since he found his muse in the admittedly lovely-voiced Lovetta Pippen sometime before the recording of 1998's Ft. Lake, though, His Name Is Alive has been all about the midtempo soul. There's nothing specifically wrong with that change in stylistic direction (well, except for those occasional, really gratuitous saxophone solos); competent and even occasionally very pretty bits of guitars and understated electronics wash over the ears, while Pippen huskily sings love songs a bit darker than anything you'll hear on the radio this year. Still, even the record's best moments don't really grab the ears like anything from, say, Stars on ESP, and you might well be left daydreaming about the pop bliss that might happen once Defever gets this out of his system. For the moment, though, Warn has treated us to something very nice and polished and moody...and not very captivating at all.


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