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Unconditional

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Album Review

The modern blues world has its share of artists who excel in some areas but fall short in others. For example, someone who excels as a guitarist might be merely adequate as a singer; or, someone who excels as a songwriter might be merely an average singer and not play an instrument particularly well. But Ana Popovic is a triple threat: she is an excellent singer, an excellent guitarist, and an excellent songwriter. And her strength in all of those areas is evident on Unconditional. The native of Belgrade, Serbia (formerly Belgrade, Yugoslavia) includes one instrumental on this 2011 release: the intense "Slideshow," which gives her a chance to really let it rip on her electric guitar and show just how strong her chops are on that instrument. Popovic rocks aggressively hard on "Slideshow," and there is also plenty of hard-rocking intensity on "Count Me In" (a Popovic original) and Cora Taylor's "Voodoo Woman." Meanwhile, Popovic's love of classic soul comes through loud and clear on "Your Love Ain't Real," "Reset Rewind," and "Summer Rain" (all of which she either wrote or co-wrote). She is blues-oriented, but she has never claimed to be a purist or made any secret of her passion for rock, soul, and jazz, and speaking of jazz, she gives us a very pleasant surprise on a burning performance of Nat Adderley's "Work Song." The Adderley standard has often been performed as instrumental soul-jazz/hard bop, but the lyrics that Oscar Brown, Jr. wrote for "Work Song" have been performed by quite a few jazz vocalists; Popovic's version is unusual in that it rocks so hard, and isn't without an awareness of jazz, but she definitely adds plenty of blues-rock muscle to an Adderley classic. Listeners who have enjoyed Popovic's previous releases will find that her high standards are very much intact on the consistently absorbing Unconditional.

Customer Reviews

Came for the music, LOVE the cover!

Anyone who thinks this cover is intended to help sell the music does not have a firm grasp on the current sales distribution chain in the (blues) music industry. The cover will garner some attention but the music stands, or fails, on it's own. As a blues nut, photographer and stodgy 50-something business guy, I happen to love the cover, appreciate the artwork involved and have no problem with my kids seeing it to form their own opinion. IMO the photo is a celebration and that is the spirit in which I see it.

With that out of the way, I love this new release. Ana is in fine musical form (playing and writing) and oh my gosh, add in New Orleans, Sonny Landreth and monster gentleman Jon Cleary (one of my alltime favorties) and everyone does this record so, so proud.

Wow. Simply outstanding. Love the slide work, love the record!

It works for me

I'd hate to see BB King pose like that, for sure. She's hot and has the chops to hang with anyone in the biz. What's not to like?

you go girl

ana, you rock. sexy and talented. why not flaunt it? everyone in pop does. blues singers are sexy also!

Biography

Born: May 13, 1976 in Belgrade, Serbia

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '90s, '00s

If you're not a blues purist, you'll love the fiery, passionate playing and singing of Yugoslavian blues-rock guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter Ana Popovic. Thanks to her father, the Belgrade-raised Popovic was introduced to the blues at an early age, through his wide-ranging record collection and jam sessions hosted at the Popovic home. Born on May 13, 1976, Popovic took up guitar when she was a teenager and formed her first band, Hush, in 1995. Within a year, with the collapse of Communism in...
Full Bio
Unconditional, Ana Popovic
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