Vivian Green's third studio album, Beautiful (released in the U.S. on April 6, 2010), is a testament to her strong vocal talent, but also serves as an example as to why she isn't a bigger star yet. Despite singing ability that puts her arguably in the top 10 of all female vocalists recording R&B music today, Beautiful is an uneven album; her powerful voice sets the majority of the 13 songs here completely on fire, but a number of tracks are also bland and uninspired. Despite being by a beautiful woman with a beautiful voice, Beautiful isn't all lovely from beginning to end.
A Number of Highlights
There are a number of highlights on Vivian Green's Beautiful, including the album's second track, a mid-tempo, melancholy track called "When We're Apart," which is about the emotional pain that comes along with being away from the one you love. Also noteworthy is "One of None," a song about her perfect man: "I couldn't have designed you any better myself," she coos on the song. "Too Intense," an upbeat dance track about the immense joy that courses through a person's body when they're in love is also a joy to listen to.
But the cream of the crop here is "Jordan's Song," a tender tune dedicated to her five-year-old son, who's battled health problems since birth. "Jordan's Song," features Vivian's warm voice wrapped around sweeping stringed instruments, is one of the most touching songs about unconditional love to come along in quite awhile. It's this song, which is tucked away near the end of the album that completely makes up for some of the album's weaker material.
And speaking of that weaker material: Beautiful is at it's best when it sticks to Vivian's strengths: tender and romantic material. It's when she strays over to the bitter side of life that things go bad. "Better Man," a Keyshia Cole-type diatribe about an arrogant, ignorant and selfish man, is awkward and out of character. Another problem is that some of the songs play it too safe musically and are just plain ... plain. Despite it's flaws though, this album showcases Vivian's strong and confident voice nicely. It's just that sometimes the song production doesn't do the vocals justice.