A stunning and sublime debut from the latest star to rise out of Philadelphia. Vivian...
Jack Smith 2003
We've been spoilt in recent years with quality neo-soul female singers since Erykah Badu first exploded onto the scene back in 1997 (yes, it was that long ago). We've embraced Macy Gray, Jill Scott, India Arie and most recently, Alicia Keys.
The latest to join the sisterhood is Philadelphia starlet Vivian Green who's debut album, A Love Story, must surely earn her an early entry in the end of year Best Newcomer shortlist.
"Fanatic" oozes Badu-isms; "Superwoman" smacks of a bygone folk age, and "What Is Love?" echoes of Alicia's "Falling". While "Emotional Rollercoaster", the first single, goes some way to show her true worth. But for me the trio, "24 Hour Blue (Just One Of Those Days)", "Be Good To You" and "Keep On Going" are by far the strongest outings from the Philly singer-songwriter who co-wrote all fourteen tracks on her debut opus.
Spotted as a major talent while singing back-up for Jill Scott and Maxwell three years ago, it's reported that Columbia paid seven figures to secure Green's services. Money well spent if you look at the sales (particularly in America) of her aforementioned nubile Nubian goddess peers.
A Love Story is an inspired blend of seductive neo-soul coupled with a vocal maturity and emotional range of a young woman who's seen lifes up-and-downs. "The album actually is a love story",says Green. "I wear my heart on my sleeve". But it's far from a clichéd boy-meets-girl plot, rather a sophisticated, autobiographical rumination on a relationship gone wrong, learning to love yourself and then finding true love. Aah, we all like a happy ending!
Mature beyond her tender years (hard to believe she's still only 23), cuts like the slow jazz refinement of "No Sittin By The Phone" exudes a Billie Holiday quality, while on the lyrically identifiable "Complete", her vocal is appropriately soft but never soppy.
Major stardom seems assured for Vivian Green whose blend of musical styles and lyrical messages is diverse enough to satisfy every listeners aural taste buds. In a word - sublime.