Peven Everett

Kissing Game

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Peven Everett quickly followed up Speed of Light with Kissing Game, another low-key self-release on his Studio Confession imprint (not to be confused with Studio Confessions, his properly distributed debut for ABB). This disc takes the emphasis off song-based R&B and focuses on instrumental grooves, with the occasional vocal worked in. The cuts range from lounge-y, piano-led jazz to jazz-funk to down-and-dirty Chicago house. Regardless of the flavor, the aim is to make you dance. In the process, one gets to hear a couple facets of Everett's personality that were only hinted at or went unexposed prior. "Parrell," for instance, is extremely raw Theo Parrish-style house, with an echoey lo-fi beat pummeling away as spare piano runs occasionally sprinkle on top. The great "Boy I Need" is much cleaner in sound, despite being trackier, and features a guest female vocalist. Nothing here comes close to rivalling Everett's white-hot "I Can't Believe I Loved Her" (a Nite Grooves 12" released the same year); likewise, there isn't anything that quite touches his unforgettable moments of brilliance with Roy Davis, Jr. ("Gabriel," "Watch Them Come"). However, those who wish Everett would stick to house productions have no excuse to complain when discs like this are available. After hearing Kissing Game and Speed of Light back to back, one gets the notion that Everett has a monster of a crossover record in him that combines all the styles he tackles.

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