Dar Williams has succeeded in crafting a number of great songs for her fourth album, The Green World, and the album works on a number of levels. The melodies are memorable, the arrangements are evenly balanced, and the lyrics are well written. Williams kicks things off with "Playing to the Firmament," an uplifting song full of jingly guitars and soaring vocals. The lyric playfully invites one to lose oneself, like a child playing games, in order to get beyond the seriousness of everyday life. "After All" is a beautiful, fragile song of self-searching with the wonderful line, "Go ahead/Push your luck/Find out how much love the world can hold." The song builds with quiet intensity, with an organ offering a spare background for Williams' lyrics. The narrator of "I Won't Be Your Yoko Ono" playfully wonders if Ono ever thought it would've been better to stay solo. The narrator informs her own lover, "I won't be your Yoko Ono if you're not good enough for me." A number of excellent musicians, including guitarist/organist Steuart Smith, bassist Graham Maby, and drummer Steve Holley, join Williams. The band can be front and center on songs like "What Do You Love More Than Love" or quietly fade into the background on "It Happens Every Day." A Hammond organ is used on a number of cuts to great effect, and Williams is in good voice throughout, delivering her lyrics with relaxed confidence. The album ends with the happy "Another Mystery," an upbeat tune with lively banjo accompaniment. The Green World is a lovely album, and should be warmly appreciated by Williams' fans, old and new.
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AllMusic Review by Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.