By Paul Jarvey

This rich, fierce, and experimental union of voice and cello lies somewhere between the emotive lyricism of Tori Amos and a more aggressive, personal, and playful communique similar to Bjork and A Silver Mt. Zion. Jorane’s The You and the Now is this years third release for the Quebecoise songwriter as well as her first English release.

She boasts a formidable musical skill coupled with a sensitive awareness for the ambiance and emotional power of her music. It lends her sound a coarse tactile appeal which has given her critical acclaim. Her 1991 release Vent Fou was decorated with a Juno for best new solo artist, she has sessioned with Sarah McLachlan, toured with Chantal Kreviazuk, and is rapidly gaining popularity and momentum across the country.

It’s easy to toss Jorane into generalizations dominated by other musicians, at first glance she can be slapped with the forced-to-take-piano-lessons-as-a-child-and-writes-songs-about-failed-relationships cliche. The You and the Now, though, is too personal, unique, and gently mischievous to be effectively stereotyped or defined with her contemporaries.

Lilting melodies and a driven, sophisticated sound are a step forward from her more abstract and openly emotional Priere and other earlier releases. Her inclusion of innumerable hints of influence is rapidly becoming more refined and is definitive of her sound. Two voices, one cello and one girl with a heart of rock and roll make this album memorable, resonant, and thoroughly refreshing.


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