Dragana: I Still Feel You (2002)
I Still Feel You is a very personal, compelling and beautiful statement of Dragana’s journey from a child to a woman. The overall feeling of this CD is sadness, from Daniel May’s heartbreaking song, “One More Day, One More Night,” about a homeless man waking from his “newspaper bed” to Dragana’s “Endless Tears” (“lonely nights and empty roads are here again.”) Of her eight originals the strongest is probably the title song, “I Still Feel You,” which, somewhat surprisingly, is not about a long lost lover, but about her father, whom Dragana lost at too young an age. It is a poignant and most loving remembrance. Mention should be made of Howlett Smith’s song, “Discover Me”. Although this song is not new (“Smitty” has been singing it for decades), it could have been written for Dragana and perfectly fits the sad theme of her debut CD. As far as I know, this is the only recorded version of Smitty’s exceptional ballad. The sadness of Dragana’s songs is not only the woe of “girl losing boy” but also larger issues, such as autumnal reflections on misunderstandings, and the small shifts that separate people or the unexpected epiphanies that make you aware that you don’t know yourself, much less others or the world around you.
The musicians are stellar and give Dragana wonderful support. As mentioned, Daniel May is on piano, Gary Gibbons is at the drum set and Dan’s brother, Benjamin, is at the upright bass. This trio appears regularly at the Loew’s Santa Monica Beach hotel and thus works as a tight unit, knowing how to stimulate and coax the best music from each other.
Dragana is not just a dilettante who has simply thrown together a few originals because it is expected. She is, in fact, an accomplished writer with an excellent sense of prosody. As singer/trumpeter Anna Callahan has noted, “Dragana’s songwriting (and singing) are haunting and her own joie de vivre mingle with an eastern-European sadness that she cannot deny. You won’t find a singer/songwriter with more candor. Her debut is a wonderful album that is straight from the heart.” I agree and recommend Dragana’s I Still Feel You.
Visit Dragana’s website at www.dragana-music.com .
Track Listing: 1. Dance 2. Never Late 3. Discover Me 4. One More Day, One More Night 5. What Do You Do 6. You 7. Rainy Days 8. Endless Tears 9. Rano je za tugu 10. Demons from the Past 11. I Still Feel You
Personnel: Dragana, vocals Daniel May, piano Benjamin May, bass Gary Gibbons, drums