Album Review: Vivian Green – Beautiful

Artist: Vivian Green
Album: Beautiful
Release Date: 4.6.10

It’s been nearly five years since Vivian Green’s presence has been felt in the music industry. Between her soulful debut A Love Story and its glossy R&B follow-up Vivian, there was a noticeable shift in the feeling of the music, what she describes as her attempt to not be pigeonholed into any one genre. With Beautiful, her third project, she continues to diversify her sound, birthing a project that combines her organic soulful dimension with her R&B side and stirs in a few other elements. This project shines as one of her best yet, a very complete body of work. It’s also important to note the change in the tone of this album as compared to her previous efforts; this is not another mad black woman’s diary, this project bears a lighter nature as explained on the title track.

The best part about Beautiful is that there’s no shortage of great singing on this album, although the production is scaled down a bit. From the melodic ballad Beautiful to what may soon be the follow-up single When We’re Apart to the reggae-tinged Save Me, it’s easy to appreciate the range of content without losing sight of her true talent. I Know How (a fave) is one of the most honest songs much like the reality check delivered on Better Man. Too Intense raises the album’s tempo with a “Sex And The City” type feel, while more balladry is conjured on Somewhere, a very lyrical love song. As discussed in our interview (click here to read), this album presents a much sunnier disposition for Green, the source of which can be found on the album’s closing dedication to her son, Jordan’s Song. The song almost feels like a modern-day lullaby and closes the album appropriately. However, the bonus track One of None (a fave) is equally noteworthy, with a very big sound and it speaks of the newfound romance Green seems to have found during her hiatus.

Overall there are a good number of keepers on this album (more than half), and it really just feels good all the way through. In similar style of Green’s previous projects, this album comes off very honest and personal, maintaining her signature sound while taking on a new focus. Despite the new feel, and new label, one constant factor about Vivian Green’s music that remains is that it can reach everyone. Her lyrics are sincere and her content is very true-to-life and can be appreciated by a wide range of listeners. Three albums deep and she hasn’t sacrificed her unique sound nor relented to the pressure of the pop mainstream, and she’s got three great albums to show for it.

Sound-Savvy rates Vivian Green’s Beautiful with 3.5 out of 5 platinum headphones.

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