Blind For Love

Ana Popovic

Electro Groove Records, 2009

REVIEW BY: Jeff Clutterbuck


Sometimes, it’s necessary to take a step back and be amazed at how very different the music scene is in the present day as opposed to the mid-century. In 1950’s America, the mere influence of black music in the work of men like Elvis was enough to bring critics galore to the forefront. In the 1960’s, the British Invasion forever changed how American artists behaved and created. The Isles were the driving force, thanks in no small part to groups like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.

Many years have passed since those days, and today we find ourselves living in a completely different musical world, one in which borders and distance are remarkably unimportant. An aspiring musician in Kenya could be influenced by and listening to the very same artist a young American or British citizen would at the same time.

my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 It should not then come as a surprise to hear artists in foreign countries performing and excelling in genres that many would think to be the sole domain of Americans or Brits. Blind For Love features Ana Popovic, a woman who grew up in Yugoslavia during the dog days of the Cold War. I would not have ventured to presume just what this record would have sounded like prior to popping it in the CD player, but suffice to say, hearing the blues come roaring out was not expected.

Popovic was introduced to the genre through her father’s extensive record collection, and it is apparent the man had good taste. Popovic seamlessly takes an American genre and makes it her own, displaying no misunderstanding of what the blues is all about, lyrically and musically. The infectious mix of guitar, horns, and backing vocals results in a few potential sing-along numbers as it’s too hard not to start humming along.

The opening tracks serve notice this is a damn fine blues record, wrapping up such longstanding blues production elements around simplistic yet tasty riffs. Popovic acquits herself admirably vocally, displaying a hefty amount of grit and intensity despite the fact that it is a smidgen too polished. Her range isn’t terribly impressive, but to be quite frank, blues vocalists often try to convey a certain mood rather then show off Christina Aguilera-type skills.

The relationship between the blues and the role of women in its songs has always been an interesting study of contrasts. I have found that women are often portrayed as helpless victims or as creatures that suck the lifeblood out of a man. Popovic takes both sides and turns them on their head, portraying herself as strong and independent (“Wrong Woman”).

Popovic has enjoyed a measure of success in the states that comprise the former nation of Yugoslavia, where I’m sure blues music isn’t terribly prevalent. Whether or not she can attempt a breakthrough in America is a different matter altogether. While her take on the blues is most certainly enjoyable, the context behind it lends the record its unique status. If this record had come from an American artist, there’s a chance it would be overlooked as more of the same.

Rating: B

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© 2009 Jeff Clutterbuck and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Electro Groove Records, and is used for informational purposes only.