Blind For Love review by Ana Popovic

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  • Released: Jul 21, 2009
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.1 (11 votes)
Ana Popovic: Blind For Love

Sound — 8
Serbian-born Ana Popovic proves that she is not only an ace at singing the blues with an earnest soul, but she can also play the guitar showing an initiative synonymous with the likes of Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Stevie Ray Vaughan. I can hear all the men out there saying, What a woman? And she certainly inspires one to pin that phrase on her. She embodies modern blues without any pretenses on her latest CD, Blind For Love from Eclecto Groove Records, and shows that Eastern Europeans have a love of blues rock that is just as hearty as what the western hemisphere feels for it. She can hold her own mingling with the best of them, giving a nod to her afore-mentioned predecessors while forging her own distinctive path. Produced by Mark Dearnley and Popovic, Blind For Love demonstrates that blues, jazz, rock, gospel, and funk make excellent dance partners. Performing an arousing palette of swampy blues along Nothing Personal, Popovic's chops are robust and make this tune a real crowd pleaser. She keeps the burners brewing up a saucy concoction of smoky blues rock and barroom jazz along Wrong Woman and Putting Out The APB before cooling off with the balladry melodic sequencing of soft rustling guitar strums through "Need Your Love" and "Blues For M." Her style switches between clean, speared lines and raw, impetuous streaks, each reflecting the individual mood of the piece. Her playing is very specific to the blues, and the venerable quality of her style is extremely high. Blind For Love reinforces blues rock's capacity to speak of the troubles on people's minds and lifts them out of the abyss.

Lyrics — 8
Popovic's lyrics oftentimes focus on the entangled emotions that two people feel when they are in a relationship. Sometimes, the lyrics reveal a sense of feeling stifled like in the title track, "I know it's not that easy / But try to understand / You don't make me a better woman, no / I can't make you a better man / And who am I to claim you... We take each other for granted, yeah / We're blind for love." And sometimes the lyrics reveal feelings of undying love like in "Get Back Home To You" when Popovic vows, "I'm never ready to leave / Like I'm wanting to / I can't make it to the door without running back to you / Just one more time before I'm gone / I'm already missing you / Got a day full of promises / I just wanna get back home to you."

Overall Impression — 8
They say that no man is an island, and that holds true for women as well. Popovic had alot of assistance on this junket including bassist Ronald Jonker, drummers Andrew Thomas and Tony Braunagel, keyboardist Mike Finnigan, percussionist Lenny Castro, trumpeter Darrell Leonard, saxophonist Joe Sublett, and background vocalists Julie Delgado, Kenna Ramsey, and Billy Valentino. Popovic is one woman who knows what she wants, and directs her crew to that objectivve without showing even a hint of ambiguity. Blind For Love is the follow up to her 2007 record, Still Making History, and for Popovic, she is still making music that is influencing the direction of blues rock and it's not bad at all.

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    and shows that Eastern Europeans have a love of blues rock that is just as hearty as what the western hemisphere feels for it
    The sad truth of it is that this is completely incorrect. The truth is sad because although blues originated in the American south, and is an art form that truly is American, it is appreciated for more in Europe, including eastern Europe far more than in America (and (especially) Canada) now. I lived in Saint Louis for 7 years and loved it. I got to play several times a week with Bennie Smith, a Saint Louis blues legend (and who played guitar on Tina Turner's first record when she was Little Ann). What I'm getting at is I have more than a passing acquaintance with the blues situation on this side of the Atlantic. What I have found is that many of the people who were responsible for creating the electric blues sound, find more work and appreciation in Europe if they choose the gruelling road work in their later years. Many get better pay and respect in Europe. Yes their are blues lovers in the U.S. and Canada, but jazz and blues have never really gone away as much there it seems as here. I think maybe it is a 'familiarity breeds contempt' kind of issue. Perhaps Europeans appreciate it more since the gold standard for blues music is still set by the strip of land that holds the Mississippi river (with the exception of Chicago which isn't on the river, but is the northern terminus of the railways that ran alongside it). I have found that the further I get from this north south strip of land, that although the musicians are still excellent, a 'feel' or 'groove' in the music diminishes. I've found the real deal guys very often let the 12 bar chord changes become a little fuzzy in terms of timing... learning to 'listen for it' as they say.... how the band feels and how the singer feels that night determines the real time the chord changes will take place... and it often changes with each 12 bars in a single song. The further from the Mississippi I go, the more I hear bands who adhere more rigidly to 4-2-2-1-1-1-1 timing for the 12 bars. Maybe it is because like Bennie, no-one taught them theory. Now of course, the Europeans are further from the Mississippi than anyone can be in North America, except Alaskans or Hawaiians . I think it sometimes takes some distance or absence to truly appreciate what you have. They are distant, and we aren't. So maybe it makes sense the Anna learned to appreciate the blues early in life where we listen to rock and disparage that 'old' music. I have moved back to Canada, in the Toronto area, and have found remarkably very, very few places to watch good blues for a metro area of five and a half million people. It is heaven for Indy bands, but blues have fallen on hard times except for a few places that still hold out. It is the same in most of North America. I know it is the same in Europe in many places. But over there I believe many still like and respect blues and jazz. Here there is much less respect. Perhaps I am just getting this feeling from being in Toronto, where honestly, most people I talk to talk about blues as if they had a sour lemon in their mouths. Same for jazz. Ah well... I still know for a fact that it is a good thing blues was exported around the world. That is why Anna plays it, and why it is still alive and strong... somewhere.