16 MM [Import]
In 16mm, the Montreal-based singer and cellist has created a much more satisfying disc than Vent Fou, her precocious debut. While she may still attract comparisons to Kate Bush, Tori Amos, and Dead Can Dance's Lisa Gerrard, Jorane confidently stakes out more of her own terrain. On 'By Feet From' and 'Pour Gabrielle', her plaintive singing and cello playing are effectively juxtaposed with the nimble, subtle rhythms that lie deep in the songs. With it's lush, multitracked vocals, the gorgeous three-part 'Film' has a depth and richness missing in Enya's lullabies. But 16mm is too compelling to serve as musical wallpaper. The centerpiece is the eight-minute 'Work No. 3', a brooding song on which Jorane sings wordless incantations. On 'Chouette', she gets more playful, mewling like a cat over a jazz riff by bassist Thomas Babin and clattery percussion by Genevieve Jodoin and Alexis Martin. 'Hello' is an offbeat piece of percolating babble that recalls the work of American composer Meredith Monk. The closing songs-the ghostly 'Nouvelle' and 'My Little Luck'-are equally endearing. On the latter, she croons while plucking out a melody that bears an odd resemblance to Otis Redding's 'Sitting on the Dock of the Bay', (That melody recurs in the hidden bonus track, a full-band version of 'My Little Luck' that includes a lovely vocal duet by Jorane and Jodoin.) the album benefits greatly from a sense of economy and restraint that was mostly absent on the melodramatic Vent Fou-the music on 16mm is intricately detailed but not overly ornate. On this rich and emotionally affecting disc, Jorane proves to be a performer capable of subtlety as well as intensity. Tacca. 2005.