By any measurement Vivian Green has the whole package. A songwriter and singer since she was an early teen, 25 Green has the voice, the songwriting skills and the looks to be a major star. However, she has yet to apply her considerable talents into a uniformly satisfactory package.
A Philadelphia native, Green paid her dues as a background singer for Jill Scott before being signed as a solo singer by Columbia Records in 2003. For her debut, A Love Story, Green followed her mentor Scott's penchant for intelligent, personal lyrics (though almost exclusively about troubled personal relationships) and combined them with modern R&B and jazz elements that made the album more interesting than the slew of other female neo-soul albums that were released that year. And though the album was of uneven quality, her hot single "Emotional Rollercoaster" and her willingness to experiment with varied musical styles made her an artist to watch and one who appeared to have the ability to further differentiate herself from the pack in subsequent releases.
Unfortunately, a completely different Vivian Green released her sophomore album, Vivian. From the come hither cover picture to the bikini top photo on the inside sleeve, the message sent appears to be that Vivian Green the artist was consciously being subordinated to Vivian Green the sex symbol. Worst of all, the content of the album was clearly a step down from her previous work. Green moved to E One Records for 2010's Beautiful,an improvement over its predecessor but an album that had trouble finding a major audience.
Green made a nice appearance on the 2012 compilation, Soundtrack of a Revolution, performing "Oh Freedom," and also provided a guest vocal performance on Bob Baldwin's Thom Bell tribute album, Betcha By Golly Wow, singing "La La Means I Love You."
By Chris Rizik