Only a year after the release of her first CD Vent Fou, Quebecer cellist Jorane came back with a stronger, more mature effort: 16mm. The title reveals a conscious aim at producing music of cinematic quality. Furthermore, Jorane recorded this one with the intention of making it international. Exit the lyrics, both French and English: all vocals are wordless syllables. It adds to the mystery of the music. Comparisons to Tori Amos are still in order, if only because of Jorane's vocal and emotional range. The difference now is that she reaches the same emotional heights as the pianist, without words. When collecting references, Enya would have to be in the list, but also soundtrack composer Anthony Rozankovic. For 16mm, Jorane has changed her accompanying band. Of the first CD, only percussionist Alexis Martin remains (guitarist Alexandre Dumas appears on one track). Electric guitar and bass are out. Around the lady's voice and cello one finds a second voice (Geneviève Jodoin), a second cello (James Darling), and Thomas Babin on upright bass. This acoustic setting (enhanced by occasional synthesizers and sampled atmospheres) suits Jorane's music to perfection. Moods are soft, slow-developing, suddenly bursting with emotion. Each piece is a short film where Jorane's now distinctive personality shows behind every note. Highlights include the more radio-friendly "Pour Gabrielle" (For Gabrielle), "Battayum 2," and the longer "Work #3," worth the album alone. The last track, "My Little Luck," includes the two-minute official song, plus a hidden five-minute improvisation on the same musical statement. 16mm shows great maturity for a second album and can only strengthen Jorane's international following.
AllMusic Review by François Couture