When I first heard "What Nature Intended" by Shane Fontayne, I was taken aback a bit. There was an edgy vibe to the music that wasn’t familiar to me. Yet, it captivated my attention with a collective mixture of jazz, pop and rock influences. There was even a taste of the Beatles thrown in for good measure.
Shane Fontayne has been in musical circles for some time. Having played with Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon, U2, trumpeter Chris Botti and even Shania Twayne, its no wonder his music is so diverse. These experiences are incorporated into a style that is uniquely his own in "What Nature Intended."
Poetic prose is freely shared throughout the album. Surrounded by a steady groove, "Weight of the World" touches upon the modern complexities of life. The phrases in "Cut From The Same Cloth" are visually vibrant, as Fontayne croons; "There’s something to be said about making love in a tent underneath the moon and stars."
Softening the flow, Fontayne sings ever so gently in "Little Napoleons" about having "fallen from grace." An accomplished guitarist, Fontayne doesn’t limit himself to just singing and songwriting. An instrumental version of this song was recently featured on HBO’s "Sex and the City."
Beats and rhythm are masterfully varied in this CD. Fontayne creates layers with the instrumentation. Trumpeter Chris Botti is featured on some of the songs. The bossa nova feel to "Marlene" is refreshing and inviting. Fontayne utilizes the trumpet to create distinctive flavors that compliment the mood. "Voodo In the House" has the trumpeter providing off-kilter vibes that are a bit different than the usual laidback Botti style.
You’ll find a couple of surprises in the album, as well. "There’s Only Room For Me" is an old-fashioned jaunt in a swinging mode. The vintage feel is refreshingly romantic with the phrase; "There’s only room for me in your heart." The tuba solo by Freebo adds a bit of color to this fun tune.
"You’ll Never Know" closes this work with a glimpse into the grace and mysteries of life. Looking into the soul of this performer, "What Nature Intended" is a collage of varied musical experiences. Let us not forget that challenging perceptions is what true works of art are all about.