Claude Fontaine - Claude Fontaine - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Claude Fontaine - Claude Fontaine

by Ljubinko Zivkovic Rating:8 Release Date:2019-04-26
Claude Fontaine - Claude Fontaine
Claude Fontaine - Claude Fontaine

I’ve no idea whether Claude Fontaine, an American girl that moved to London goes under her real name. Could be, but it can also be that part of her inspiration for her self-titled debut album comes from such great French singers like the inimitable Brigitte Fontaine, who for her part has tackled almost any musical style and was backed once by Sonic Youth.

No, this expatriate Fontaine doesn’t do much Sonic Youth-style music here, nor is she backed by an avant-garde rock band, but in similarity to the other Fontaine, she tackles two disparate musical styles and is backed by some astonishing musicians.

She probably had to show some initial talent to be able to bring in a stellar Reggae team headed by guitarist Tony Chin, who played for the likes of dub master King Tubby and Dennis Brown, and no less stellar Bossa Nova/Brazilian music team headed by probably the best Brazilian drummer/percussionist Airto Moreira.

And while Claude Fontaine might share her last name with Brigitte, her voice is more in the mold of the more familiar French singers like Francoise Hardy, or Jane Birkin another expatriate living in France.

This duality in participating musicians leads to the fact that Fontaine’s debut is split into two distinctive parts. As you might have guessed by now, the Reggae side, and a Brazilian side, perfect for these resurging vinyl times.

In many cases when an up and coming artist is backed by stellar musician team, they got drowned in the mix, or their material is nothing to write home about. Luckily for Claude, not only does her voice fit like a glove to the backing, but she has obviously done some serious listening and personal absorbing of the music genres she dresses her music on this album.

The ten tracks are evenly split between some heavy Reggae beats and cooling Bossa/MPB. Not for a moment is Fontaine overshadowed by the musical cast that has played for the likes of Steel Pulse, Ziggy Marley, Sergio Mendes, and Flora Purim among others and she is able to come up with some brilliant Reggae and Bossa. After all, she’s the one who wrote the songs, and her voice is a charm. You simply can’t fault either of Fontaine’s two musical sides here.

What we get here is a French-style Reggae/Bossa album by an American expatriate on The British Isles. I guess, a perfect summer combination.


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