Recording information: Brandon Henderson's Home Studio, Philadelphia, PA; Hit Farm Studios, Coral Springs, FL; Sigma Sound, Philadelphia, PA; Studio Pine, Philadelphia, PA.
As one might be able to discern from the cover, there's a little less heartache and turmoil on The Green Room compared to Vivian Green's first three albums. Indeed, this is the singer's lightest release, at least in terms of emotional weight. That's not to say that it's all free-spirited and blissful. In "X," featuring fellow Philadelphian Freeway, Green relates emotional conflict in confronting a lingering relationship ("Out of my bed, but still in my head"). "Free as a Bird" regards breaking from a limiting relationship ("Let me go, just let me be, don't try to edit or modify me"). "Supposed to Be Mine," one of Green's most potent performances, is all longing and regret ("We let it get out of hand, and now we're empty-handed, and we can't get it back again"). Apart from the last of that bunch, there's some positivity and empowerment in every song, and they all go down easy while avoiding melodrama. Green's choices for collaborators, including Rex Rideout, Vidal Davis, and Steve McKie, are faultless. Her and Rideout's contribution to Brian Culbertson's Dreams album ("Still Here") also appears here without sounding the least bit out of place. Green's voice isn't as smooth as it once was. The slight scratchiness, not always present but frequently noticeable, adds some alluring edge to her performances, and it never seems over the top or the least bit affected. ~ Andy Kellman