A brief blast of an upbeat brass section leading off a Trees' album? Stranger things have happened, and even though it's but another synth touch courtesy of longtime producer/collaborator Tibenham, it gets Green going well. "Red Valentino," the full opening song, treads the now-familiar musical and lyrical territory with just a little bit of a different verve and touch as a result. As it happened, Green later proved to be the last Trees' album in their long-established darkly rustic/mythic style; already the changes to the more Continental/jazzy sound of their immediate future creep in. The more elegant keyboard-led feel from Farewell carries over here as well, sometimes combining with the newer vibe perfectly, as with "The Fruit Room," a low-key, wonderful charmer that shifts to a boulevardier style with accordion and a gentle swing part of the way through. Perhaps most notably for the album, Justin Jones' trademark guitar sound disappears for songs at a time, instead favoring cleaner musical lines, as with the crisp work on the late-night groove of "The Woodcutter," though the old reverbed strum crops up at points, as on the suitably theatrical "Blind Opera." Simon Jones' voice is, as always, powerful, deep, and dramatic, while Nick Havas and Steven Burrows generally play on a much more subtle, intricate level than before, demonstrating clearly that though the focus is rarely on their work, the two have always contributed greatly to the Trees' sound as it has changed and evolved over the years. Crammed with standout tracks -- "The Dust Sailor," "Mermen of the Lea," and "Jacob Fleet" are but three more fine examples -- Green is yet another Trees triumph.
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AllMusic Review by Ned Raggett