Monday, November 12, 2012

A lot to love in Jorane's 'L'instant aimé'

Album artwork for Jorane's L'instant aimé (Source:
I fell in love with Jorane's music around October last year. She performs in an invented language in a way that makes her work universally accessible, unrestricted by lyrics since the voice is de-emphasised as the primary way of communicating the message of the song. Instead, she allows her compositions – melody, mood and instrumentation – to allow people to come to their own interpratations of the music. While in recent years she has focused on performing in French (Vers à soi and Une Sorcière Comme Les Autres), her music is still enjoyable for her hybrid music style of french chanteuse and unusual instrumentation. L'instant aimé is the sixth full-length album from Jorane. While it features pieces in her invented language, the album performed mostly in French lyrics. While the album itself occasionally borders on wearisome with a group of mellow and low-key songs, there is also a lot to love with several amazing standout songs.

The issue I have with the album is the same issue I had with Une Sorcière Comme Les Autres; many of the songs are so similar in structure and instrumentation that they seem to merge into each other and it's difficult to distinguish them apart after repeated listenings - they focus on mood and lyrics rather than interesting technique and memorable melodies. While pieces like 'J'ai demande a la lune', 'Allegeance', 'L'instant aime', and 'Bouteille a la mer' are all pleasant and mellow pieces, as someone who doesn't understand French it feels like there isn't enough variation between them isn't enough to distinguish them.

Many songs on the album showcase Jorane's
flawless vocals and eclectic
musical style (Source: Spectra News)
With that out of the way, of course there are the fantastic moments - the adorable and bright 'Bouquet au coeur' opens the album with great élan, and the jaunty Irish rifts of 'Farfadet' and the disarmingly charming randomness of 'Ma chambre' showcase Jorane's flawless vocals and eclectic music style. As expected, the highlight of the album is the latest instalment of the Film series, 'Film V'. Across her extensive career Jorane has composed four movements including the title 'Film', and L'Instant Aime includes the fifth. 'Film V' is the longest of the five movements, showing the fantastic sparkle that distinguishes Jorane as she showcases her talent at creating art which is evocatic in being simultaneously stirring, powerful but also wistful.

I guess what I'm irrationally disappointed at is the arrangement of the songs on this album in comparison to how they are performed live. In June, Jorane performed at the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal 2012 accompanied by the I Musici orchestra. This highlights video shows her screaming like a maniac, exuding electric energy with some of the most gorgeous arrangements of her pieces I have ever heard. While I do like this album, in comparison to live executions these renditions seem very restrained and sort of dulled - I hope that eventually there is a collaboration between the two again which is recorded.

I do enjoy L'instant aimé, however not as much as I was hoping due to the similarities shared between many of the tracks halting immersion into the material. Although it's not going to win Jorane any new fans or attention, this is a solid album with a lot to love - 'Bouquet au coeur' and 'Film V' have been on non-stop repeat since I got the album, and many of the tracks are a delight to listen to. I hope Jorane makes many, many more albums, and I hope she eventually tours Australia - I'll be there to watch that talent no matter what she plays!

Jorane's 'L'instant aimé' is available worldwide November 12th, available digitally online and from Available on physical CD and digital download. Preview the album for free on Jorane's official website

*This review is of the Canadian physical release of L'instant aiméDigital versions include two bonus tracks, 'Pendant que les champs brûlent' from Une Sorcière Comme Les Autres, and an accoustic rendition of 'Monsieur Piment' featuring the Montréal Guitar Trio.

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