His Name Is Alive Last Night

The last time we heard from Warn Defever, he completely re-invented His Name Is Alive, releasing a sultry R&B album called Someday My Blues Will Cover The Earth. Although this shift may have initially shocked long-time fans, the smooth, jazzy sounds proved that the team of Defever and vocalist Lovetta Pippin was a winning combination. This continues to be the case on Last Night, a dreamy collection of down-tempo jazz, soul, pop and R&B, albeit with a dark twist that justifies their home on the legendary 4AD label. Defever himself admits that the last album was a bit of a "downer,” so we are now treated to more upbeat tracks like "Teardrops,” "I Have Special Powers” and the 11-minute funk/soul epic "Someday My Prince Will Come.” Still, the darker side remains, as proven by "I Can See Myself In Her” and the brilliant title track. There are even a few interesting covers, including re-workings of Ida, Eddy Grant’s Equals and even Jimi Hendrix’s "Train.” Defever and His Name Is Alive have had a long and diverse musical career, and it is this latter phase of their sound that sees them finding a groove that really works. This latest release is a sexy, moody and engaging album by a truly accomplished songwriter. (4AD)