The You and the Now

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The 28-year-old French-Canadian singer, songwriter, and cellist Jorane is no stranger to the recording studio; she has several solo albums to her credit and wrote soundtrack music for a number of films, including Unfaithful. But since all of her previous work has been written in French, her albums have mostly stayed north of the U.S. marketplace. The You and the Now, her first stateside release, finds her singing mostly in English and collaborating with such well-respected artists as Daniel Lanois and Michael Brook, while performing songs co-written with Lisa Germano and Simon Wilcox, among others. The mood is by turns downcast ("Fragile," "Blue Planet") and seductive (a brilliant cover of the disco classic "I Feel Love," the heart-stoppingly sexy "Pour ton sourire"), and the tempos stay within the stately to slinky range, rarely involving anything like a funky beat or even an overt percussion part. At her best, Jorane pulls you out of yourself and sets you floating in a multi-layered musical cloud formation; at her not so best, like the rather self-indulgent "Am I the Sky," she sounds like she's maybe just a bit too full of herself. Highly recommended overall.

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