Ana Popovic


I don’t know if current slang still employs the term “kick-ass” as an adjective, but it’s hard to think of a better description of Ana Popovic’s new album, a kick-ass collection of hard-driving super Strat performances that are, indeed, “unconditional” in terms of the heart that went into them. Popovic, born in Belgrade, Serbia, is routinely described as a “guitar goddess.” She didn’t get that encomium without meriting it. She can play a guitar just like ringin’ a bell, and she seems to have infused her blues with the sorrows she saw in Eastern Europe. For my money, the best stuff here are songs like “Fearless Blues,” a throw-down of courage and confidence in which Ms. Popovic seems to shred her fretboard. Somewhat less successful is a track like “Reset Rewind,” an uncharacteristically listless cut that is fully redeemed by the song that follows it—“Slideshow”—a neat bit of guitar interplay between Popovic and the equally astonishing Sonny Landreth. Some of the tracks here were recorded in New Orleans, and on “Voodoo Woman,” you can feel it. I don’t know the geography of Serbia, but judging from this album, Belgrade is surely pretty far south.