Heading out to take Manhattan, having taken on Berlin, Romanian chanteuse issues her first full-blown album to blow the audience’s minds.
It’s been a long way to this platter for Ana Patan who, European scenes smitten by her delivery of variously styled songs, had to reach a different emotional plane to defeat the pain of her injured wrist and entailing mental trauma and sculpt a record as wondrous as “Spice, Gold And Tales Untold” that barely betrays the artiste’s anguish. Sounding sultry, but not overtly seductive, Ana’s vocals aim for the listener’s very soul, while her guitar licks not only accentuate Patan’s passion yet also often float to the fore to paint over her stinging lyrics with deeper hues. As a result, though the album’s musical palette is jazz-tinged, the sparkling and aromatic stories in there defy categorizing to capture hearts.
And though one would find it impossible to ignore the reserved fervor of “Undeciphered” which opens the platter with a slow burn, Ana’s velvet pipes caressing fresh nocturnal air and gradually heating up the ether, “Trivialize Love” will intensify the drift by weaving Devin Townsend’s supple bottom end into Patan’s folk-informed, effervescent, albeit not too serene, balladry. So blissful, gossamer bossa nova the likes of “General Conspiracy” seep in spades may morph into elegant fierceness for the riff-driven “21st Century Citizen” – a couple of cuts where Jonas Hellborg’s bass and Zoltan Czörsz’s sympathetic beat elevate the lady’s muscular passages to heaven – yet “Soarele Meu” distills her feelings to impressive harmonic fluttering and delicate picking of strings. Sure even if progressive rock cannot exist without ego, here the genre’s elite players are given a rare chance to rein theirs in and get selflessly reduced to providing a top-notch accompaniment to Patan’s voice and supporting the gusto of her sensual performances.
There’s frivolous vigor in “The Human” and languorous swagger in “Pure And Plain” as opposed to the acoustic eloquence of “Hot Hot” that’s soothing and worrisome at the same time, or the stormy panache of “How Could We Live Before” – a precursor to the hip-swinging finale “Colors On Hormones” which summarizes Ana Patan’s feminine approach to her art and leaves a lingering aftertaste for all to savor. This album is a real treat.