The year was 2001. The month was November. The event - my very first Jill Scott concert. Although I had heard many great things about a Jill Scott live show, I was totally unaware that the hidden jewel of the evening would lie within what at the time appeared to be a timid background singer. The lady I speak of is Mrs. Vivian Green.
Fastforward to November 2002. Any fan of urban music knows the plethora of music that we were flooded with at the end of the year. However, one definite standout would have to be Vivian Green's "A Love Story." To put it simply; this cd is one of the best contemporary R&B albums to drop all year.
The album starts off with a conceptual track that nearly anyone could relate to; "Wishful Thinking." The title explains the song best. Throughout the track, it's almost as if we are hearing a transcript of the thoughts that go through Vivians mind. Lyrics such as "All I wanna do is send my little brother Solomon to college, with no problems/ And how I hope, the children that I sponsored down in Chile, they get the money." One cannot help but hope that such innocent wishes get granted.
The influence of the piano is obvious in tracks such as 'No Sittin By the Phone', and "What is Love.' Both tracks play out like a third eye view of the various ins and outs of a relationship. The album, "cleverly" titled "A Love Story" is not your typical boy meets girl, girl likes him, etc. Instead, it's a mature interpretation of a relationship in the broadest aspect of the word. One would think that the male population is not spared on this cd. Wrong. Tracks like 'Be Good To You' and 'Complete' pay homage to us fellas and definitely show that our efforts dont go unnoticed.
I had the priviledge of meeting Vivian Green while she was on a brief promo tour. She is very humble, and her passion for music glows. When asked what was the inspiration behind her breakthough lead single 'Emotional Rollercoaster', she stated that the song "Popped into her head the morning after having a big argument with her boyfriend and not knowing what to do." So, for those of you who think that Vivian pens your typical run-of-the-mill imaginary relationship woes. Think again. Simply put Vivian spits "the real."
'A Love Story' is not unscathed from the expected filler tracks that accompany nearly every r&b cd of this day and age. Tracks such as 'Keep on Goin' clock in at a whoppig 6+ minutes. Being the last song on the cd, you begin to wish that she will do everything but 'Keep on Going' with that track. And, tracks such as 'Fanatic' make you begin to wish that she skipped a few classes in the 'School of Jill Scott.' Despite that, the filler tracks are few and far between, and with so many standout gems that weave together like patchwork. They're hardly noticed. Vivian wears her heart on her sleeve through this great debut release. It makes us look forward to the many more releases that her promising career is bound to offer us.