Album Watch: It's No 'Love Story' But Vivian Green Still Vocally Shines On 'Beautiful'

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

All has been quiet on the Vivian Green promotional front, as her latest disc, Beautiful dropped last week like a feather. Yet, people should cup their ears and listen a little closely, as Ms. Green has dropped a record that is worth catching some feelings.

Sometimes there is a case of bias syndrome when entering in an artist's third effort, especially when their debut effort was right on the money. This is how I went into listening to Beautiful, and though I wasn't expecting A Love Story...Continued or even a slice of style such as her signature hit, "Emotional Rollercoaster", I believed some of that grit and soul from the singer's 2002 debut,  A Love Story would seep back in. Maybe I expected too much...

Beautiful is a bit glossier than previous efforts, with some tracks taking a lean into Top 40 territory (think Ciara and Ashanti), especially with the perky synth shower of, "So Far Gone" which hints at Green opting for a more radio friendly sound, which isn't bad, just it kind of takes away from her vocals. Enjoyable as it was in some spots, as a full effort I wasn't truly moved, like previous records, as I felt the material undermined Vivian's supreme vocal talent. There are some shining moments, such as the wonderful phrasing of the title track and the musical nod to Jill Scott (who Green used to sing back-up for in her early days) on the rolling Reggae of "Save Me". I do applaud Green for approaching the music with a personal touch (Green co-wrote every song on this effort) and for having robust vocal delivery throughout, yet it just seems like something is missing from this effort, which makes this album seem almost like a work in progress and not a third installment.

Save Me 


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