Vincent & Mr. Green

Vincent & Mr. Green

Vincent & Mr. Green

Vincent & Mr. Green


By employing both the cut-up minor chord churns of the RZA and the hell-spawn folk of Tom Waits, Vincent & Mr. Green attempts its own style of hip-hop noir. Keyboardist/songwriter Keefus Ciancia — having cred in both the hip-hop and film scoring worlds, having worked with Dr. Dre and E-40, as well as on soundtracks like Spider-Man and The Ladykillers — fuses plenty of cinematic elements on this Ipecac debut. He finds an ideal muse in vocalist Jade Vincent, whose husky croon is ideally suited for the smoke-filled cabaret.

But within this entire woozy atmosphere Ciancia’s concocted, the dusky beats and various samples seem unable to sync with Vincent, who’s doing her sultry best to be Beth Gibbons, Marlene Dietrich and a subdued Diamanda Galas. Unfortunately, she’s none of the above, but many tracks, including “Whiskey Bound,” are splendid Portishead impressions. The duo is clearly transfixed by ’30s touches, not only with the music itself, but with the cover sleeve, which is a parody of Gone With The Wind‘s, but with the background mansion in flames. But if anything emphasizes Vincent & Mr. Green’s fatal flaw, it’s the American Gothic tale “Transylvania X,” a kitchen-sink trip-hop excursion with odd organs and Vincent cooing, “the stench in here is thick with others’ pretense.” If only she and Ciancia realized these words mirrored the listener’s feelings, perhaps this album of Bristol-inspired torch songs wouldn’t be as impotent an effort.


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