Adriana Kaegi – Tag [Adriana, 2009]

Adriana Kaegi - TagA man walks into a bar wearing a sequin jacket, finds his companion draped in shadow in the back corner, wearing black velvet. He pulls up a seat, sighing wearily as he enters the candle’s nimbus.

“If we don’t come up with something new, FAST, we’re both sunk. Neither one of us has had an original idea in a decade,” speaks the human disco ball. His name is Lounge Music, and he has become quite the laughing stock around the office; a joke, a has been. Once, so full of excitement and promise, truly a golden child. The shadowy lurker burned out faster, spiralling from a household name to a forgotten pariah in under three years. Many speculate it was due to heavy opiate usage. His name: Trip Hop.

“With our savvy, together, we could really do something. Between the two of us, we’ve played with every style of music on the planet. Seriously, man, we need a new trick or we’ll be out begging for nickels. Hey, that chick on the microphone’s got a nice voice,” continued Mr. Glitter. They turned their attention to the blonde bombshell making love to the ribbon mic. She certainly had style, you had to admit. The pair eyed each other knowingly, and introduced themselves at set break.

Turned out, her name was Adriana Kaegi, and she used to play with NY favorites Kid Creole and the Coconuts. Now she’s flying solo, playing music as well as choreographing and editing a video magazine. The trio decided to get together, and make some magick.

Adriana Kaegi understands rhythm, and the beat propels this album, keeping it interesting. The jazz and torch song elements give Tag weight and depth, and make it more interesting and show a real song-writing finesse, distinguishing this release from a straight electronica record. This is not merely DJ fodder, but rather a resourceful musician, drawing on whatever tools happen to be on hand, whether that be beats and loops or a pick-up jazz ensemble. The bass playing, whether stand-up or sine-wave, is tasty and really ties this album together. My only grumble is that the vocals are a little too satiny smooth, too much of the time, making it ripe for unobtrusive Starbucks fodder. Truly a modern take on Easy Listening. And i really question the saxophone rendered on track, ‘Oh La La’, especially from a lady who got her start playing free jazz sax. She should know better.

Tag is a fine re-imagining of jazz and lounge music, smooth and undisturbing. The beats are accomplished and engaging, suitable for a late-night checkerboard dance floor, or a come-down romance. I give props to Ms. Kaegi for staying in the game this long, and staying relevant, adapting to the modern methods of recording and promotion. She seems a strong willed woman who knows what she wants, including how to write a good song.

J. Simpson

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Buy Tag from
Adriana – Official Website
Adriana @ MySpace