Photographer: Derek Blanks.
Going by the title and album artwork, one familiar with Vivian Green's discography would likely assume that Vivid -- released on Kwame Holland's Make Noise label -- is a changeup, not another set dominated by material seemingly made during and in the wake of a crumbling relationship. The singer and songwriter's fifth album, made with Holland as the lone producer and the primary co-composer, includes some songs that involve aching and recovery, but it's her liveliest album by a wide margin. "Work" and "Leave It All Behind" offer smooth, seductive disco-funk, while the bouncing "123" throws back to the mid-'60s with Green as a one-woman vocal group. Boldest and best of all is "Get Right Back to My Baby," where Green's voice is in top yearning, slightly scratchy form as Holland cunningly flips Maze's indestructible "Before I Let Go." Among the ballads is "All I Want Is You," a fine duet with previous Holland collaborator Raheem DeVaughn. Throughout the album, Green is confident and comfortable, never seems as if she's being anyone but herself. It sounds like she and Holland had a ball. ~ Andy Kellman