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.