CD Review – Ana Popovic Unconditional
Eclecto Groove Records – EGRCCD513
8 out of 10
‘Unconditional’ finds the Serbian guitarist and singer in a mood for revealing a lot. Whether that be of her skin on the front cover, or her talent on the record itself it is a fine release.
She has teamed up with a number of New Orleans musicians rather than her usual band for the release, and they are a good fit for her rapidly developing guitar talent and vocal stylings. She has chosen the material well, with a number of original pieces, as well as some choice covers.
The renowned Hammond organ and pianist John Cleary makes his presence felt on most of the tracks, whilst Trumpet, Sax and Harmonica share some of the soloing and ensemble duties. The one instrumental is a slide guitar duet, ‘Slideshow’ which features a co-write for Popovic and Sonny Landreth, and it is an attractively played and recorded romp that does all of the players justice.
Popovic’s soloing is both muscular and melodic, with plenty of character, and it would be interesting to see how these songs were developed in the live arena, particularly ‘Summer Rain’ with its melodic pop sheen, ‘Reset, Rewind’ which has a stylstic nod to the Band’s ‘The Weight’ or the love struck title track. The set closer, the well known ‘Soulful Dress’ by Maurice McAlister and Terry Vail is a high energy romp featuring guttural soul inflected vocals and a guitar part that would do any of the big names justice.
In all, a fine release from a talent that has always been far more than just a pretty face.