Vanderslice recorded this album in the midst of anguishing legal limbo after a visa application for his French girlfriend was rejected by US immigration. The album takes its title from a reference to the "Green Zone" in Iraq, but its themes are broad. "John Vanderslice is starting to look like the most consistently engaging singer and songwriter - and maybe even live performer - on indie rockdom's current landscape" - Washington Post.
With the album title referring to the Green Zone in Baghdad, the latest from John Vanderslice is rife with fractious circumstances on a grand scale. His writing was fueled not only by inescapable global realities, but also an ultimately futile process to obtain a visa for his French girlfriend. The contrast of small personal details against a backdrop of larger sociopolitical events is what makes such riveting characters come to life in his songs. Eschewing broad specifics and flat reportage, his poetic bearing makes the slivered glimpses of lives in flux feel as resonant as a next-door neighbor or a family member further afield, but connected by phone. All of these lyrical aims would fall flat without Vanderslice's consummate compositional skills. These are first and foremost hook-filled songs, and it is upon repeated listenings (which they can't help but draw a listener into) that more complex matters of darkness, grief, love, hope, and death begin to emerge. --David Greenberger