On the surface Jon Lucien's lyrics don't say much beyond "kiss me and hold me" and "you're the one I need." It is the manner in which, and the tools with which, he expresses such sentiments that set him apart from ordinary pop singers.

Last night at Blues Alley, where he stays through Sunday, the St. Thomas native stretched his voice from a resonating moan to a hopeful sigh, dropped from an ecstatic shout to a bedroom whisper or went from considered declamation to throaty passion, often in the space of a syllable or two. His air-sculpting hands, the subtly undulating movements of his trim body and his seductive eye language heightened the eroticism of his message. The club was packed with his adoring fans who haven't had the opportunity to catch his act here in Washington for five years.

Electric accompaniment somehow is thought indispensable for this genre these days. But one would like to hear Lucien with much less of it. The gentle support of Dan Carillo's acoustic guitar was very effective, as was the vocalist's self-accompaniment with the same instrument.

Sergio Brandao was on keyboards, Richard Cummings Jr. on electric bass and Bob Weiner at the drums.