Ana Zhdanova seems to be perfectly settled in her genre of slow, melancholic lounge music.
Nevertheless, while overall direction is clear, some finer details are still work in progress. On her new album “Тайны”, for example, Ana takes a small detour into a trip hop land. It’s nothing serious or god forbid conceptual, she just borrows a few ornamentation – heavy bass drum, some breakbeat here and there, nostalgic synths.
While these borrowings don’t turn a chill lounge into a brazen trip-hop, they are very well-suited to Ana’s ambivalent vocal and do bring its best features forward. Ana often struggled melodically on its previous disks, and while it’s still sometimes the case here, there are at least a few solid tunes on the new record – in particular, tracks 1 and 5 are quite catchy.
And while I condemn hip-hop experiments on track 2 (I think there’s no flow to talk about and articulation is just technically weak), I must confess this is a fun disk to listen to. Ana is definitely on an upward trajectory. Slow and steady.