Reviews

Ana Patan – Spice, Gold and Tales Untold


Ana Patan – Spice, Gold and Tales Untold

Released 26th February 2021
Available from Bandcamp

  1. Undeciphered
  2. General Conspiracy
  3. Trivialize Love
  4. The Human
  5. Pure And Plain
  6. Soarele Meu
  7. 21st Century Citizen
  8. Hot Hot
  9. How Could We Live Before
  10. Colors On Hormones
photo by Alex Pop
Ana Patan is a German singer-songwriter, with Romanian origins, Ana is one of those ‘heart on their sleeve’ artists, her lyrics are personal, yet relatable, her sound is a little jazzy, a little funky. It contains elements of rock, even prog to some degree. Most of all it contains soul. You can just feel her smile, laughter and sometimes heartache filter through as Ana reveals her deepest emotions and memories to the listener.
Photo by Sabine Obst

Her songs are filled with stories, anecdotes from her travels and her life, observations of a world that Ana obviously loves and yet questions. The album includes songs about the people that are oh so important to her and her feelings towards them. It has been well publicised that “Spice, Gold and Tales Untold” has taken Ana 10 years to complete, so was that 10 years worth the wait.

The album includes some amazing musicians, Zoltan Csörsz on drums Devin Townsend, Jonathan Herrera and Jonas Hellborg on bass and Jamal Evans on percussion. I love though, how these renowned players propel Ana to the forefront, so that she is the centre of attention.

In an effort to give the album some form of continuity throughout, Ana decided to use the same drum kit and player on all of the tracks, the same guitar/strings/amp, and the same bass (even if played by different people). With everyone on board focussed on the common idea of the songs the unity desired  was achieved.

Anyone familiar with my past reviews would know that I like my music to take me on a journey. A means of escapism and a portal to a more patient and calmer world and that is exactly what this album delivers. The album’s opener “Undeciphered” is the start of the journey, the opening notes are like the key being turned in the ignition, the engine gently starts and we are off…

“Undeciphered” is a tribute to the feline Goddesses, meticulously observed whilst on a trip to Istanbul. The lyrics describe the majesty that they exude, how they are the rulers of their realm, how they are worshipped, admired and loved and yet, in typical feline nature, how they are totally oblivious and uncaring to the pandemonium that they create. The very discriptive lyrics flow over beautiful basslines and jazz like harmonies on this delightful song.

Ever had a bad day, one where nothing seems to be going right, where no matter what you do to try to fix it, everything fails and even makes matters worse? Then check out “General Conspiracy” The funkier, uplifted groove of this one is complimented with clever, humourous lyrics about how the universe has plotted against Ana on probably here worst day ever. The catchy chorus will stay in your head for ages.

In total contrast we now we get very, very personal, dim the lights, open that bottle of wine, turn on the stereo and play that romantic album from the 70s. Invite the love of your life over to share in the intimacy. “Trivialise Love” is beautiful, it’s a love song about realising what you ‘have’ in the world, how you are loved, how complete your world is and and how truly greatful you are for it. The music caresses you as it tenderly flows around you only to take hold of you tightly in a thunderous display of love. Devin Townsend’s bass playing is sublime here, a true wonderment to behold.

“The Human” explores just how damaging mankind has been to the planet. In fact the term ‘The Human’ is almost used as some type of villanous title, a Marvel or DC entity, hell-bent on world destruction. The dark, forboding lyrics, filled with satire and humour totally defy the delightful happines of the melody. It is one of those numbers that will get you out of your seat waving your arms in the air, dancing to the beautifully catchy rhythms.

“Pure and Plain” has to be my favourite song on the record. It is about the uncaring completeness of being totally at one with one’s world. Your life is exactly where you want it and you are going to enjoy this realisation. Again, we are treated to some wonderful bass playing. An elegantly catchy tune with its jazz filled swing, I love how this one has me smiling and singing along. Ana’s voice is amazing here.

“Soarele Meu” sung in Romanian has such a cool groove to it. The song basically explains that tomorrow is another day, an optimistic lesson in positvity. Perhaps an answer to “General Conspiracy”. You will be singing this one too, the catchy factor is high here.

Be prepared to jump at the opening notes to “21st Century Citizen” as it shocks into existence. Perhaps the heaviest sounding track on the album, “21st Century Citizen” shows Ana’s anger at a world that demands us to conform to certain rules and standards (“get smarter, get thinner, get younger if I wanna make it get popular, get healthier, get happier, or else learn how to fake it!”). The stress that society places on us can sometimes be daunting, but some of these demands are often ridiculous.

Photo by Sabine Obst

“Hot Hot” follows and it is immediately evident that Ana is expressing her love for someone. Her feelings of contentment and love are so beautiful, it is almost like eavesdropping just listening to it. Magnificent, subtle playing again, with an outstanding tightness that the excellent musicians provide, ensures that “Hot Hot” is a pleasure to listen to.

The upbeat “How Could We Live Before” explores our world in a series of question, questions that is but no answers. It’s the things we have today that we just take for granted. How would our lives be without exotic food, or TV, or cars, or toilet paper? As Ana herself states that the song is… “an invitation to think, to imagine, to get yourself out of your own comfortable shoes. How were people’s lives before the internet, before maps to navigate the world, before religion, before evolving into mammals, etc…
The album ends with the glorious “Colors On Hormones”. This was the first song that I heard by Ana a few years back now, so it will always hold a special place with me. The song was inspired by a visit to Hong Kong, with its contrasting imagery of nature in heavy combat with architecture. The sounds, the smells, the colours all blending to achieve an amazing experience assaulting the senses to a level of pleasure or pain. “Everything was super pumped as if on steroids…Colors On Hormones -pushing up to the sky…”
So if you want music that will lift you up, make you feel stress-free and invigorated, have moments of pure joy, excitement and love, music that will also make you think and question the norm, then “Spice, Gold and Tales Untold” is the album for you. It took 10 years to make, so on that basis  it looks like 2031 is going to be a great year for music too. 
Ana Patan links:

Artist location – Berlin Germany
Website – Facebook – You Tube – Soundcloud – Bandcamp – 
Twitter – Instagram – Apple – Spotify – Amazon
Check our page for Ana Patan
Check our interview with Ana Patan


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