Kurayami Monogatari

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Ai Kago – AI KAGO meets JAZZ ~The first door~ April 5, 2010

Filed under: Ai Kago — solarblade @ 7:23 am

Track Listing

  1. How High the Moon
  2. Night and Day
  3. Blue Moon
  4. Sunny
  5. You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To
  6. Someone to Watch Over Me
  7. When You Wish Upon a Star
  8. Fly Me to the Moon
  9. Over the Rainbow
  10. All of Me
  11. 17sai yo Sayonara

1. How High the Moon

Beginning this jazz album, Aibon starts off with the shortest song off the album and already you can tell you’re in for a ride.  Ai’s vocals are of course of higher pitch and we get a trumpet solo in the middle of the tune, it’s not a bad opening song.  While I’m entirely sure that Aibon has had no experience in the genre nor has had a sharp grasp at the English language, she did this song well. 

2. Night and Day

Ok, Night and Day definitely sounds like Luca from Final Fantasy X, I love this kind of upbeat jazz coming.  Once again, I’m starting to hear a little more finesse in Aibon’s vocals which is great and her lower range is pretty nice to listen to, but for that her English is kind of questionable in some cases.  This time we have a piano solo and that was nice.  Alright song I guess.

3. Blue Moon

So far the slowest song so far on the album, Blue Moon really sounds like the instrumental belongs in a Charlie Brown special.  As simplistic and slow the song is, Aibon sounds really nice and even though she slips ups her voice kind of strikes me nicely.  As time goes by, the song gets more colorful and Ai starts to get louder and stronger as well.  Wow, I ended up liking this song quite a bit.

4. Sunny

Time to throw in a little latin jazz onto the album, Sunny is a nice contrast after the more sullen and wintry sounding “Blue Moon”.  Now Sunny also gets Aibon singing a bit faster and to me that was probably a bit risky with the amount of English skills she has.  Sadly, she did kind of messed up a few times in pronunciation, but given the arrangement she was given, it wasn’t horrendous and the music kept her going.  Exciting little song.

5. You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To

I recognized this song because Mika Nakashima recently covered it.  Now this is where I was really impressed with Aibon because she really pulled off the mood, cept when she tried to pronounce ~window~.  Now I remember when Mika covered it, her version was filled with too many solos and felt empty, same thing applies here unfortunately since this is filled with a trumpet solo.  I think she did well on this song.

6. Someone to Watch Over Me

Another one of those longing and slowly drifting songs like “Blue Moon”, Someone to Watch Over Me has a little bit of strings included which is a bit odd, but whatever.  Though this time, Ai’s vocals are somewhat annoying in varying parts, but for the most part she keeps the song alright and calm.  Not as memorable but ok.

7. When You Wish Upon a Star

Yeah, it’s a jazzy cover of that Disney song.  Aibon’s version is kind of nice to listen to and doesn’t have the bad Engrish that MEG’s version had the entire song.  I like some of the phrasing Ai uses to make the song a bit more lively, but the longer and higher notes really make her sound like a weak singer for some reason.  Where’s Nono when you need her the most?

8. Fly Me to the Moon

Yeah it’s the same song Hikki covered twice!  Now compared to her;s, Ai’s is more upbeat and the notes are quite lower than the versions Hikki did so that’s nice.  Then again, Ai’s doesn’t have the extra stuff Hikki’s does so this is just the basic cut of the song.  While the piano solo to me was a bit too long here, Ai didn’t do too bad, but it wasn’t as good as the previous songs.

9. Over the Rainbow

Yeah it’s that song from “The Wizard of Oz”.  Do we really need a lowdown on this song itself, everyone basically knows this song.  Ai’s version doesn’t have the vocal properties that should be here which is unfortunate because she could’ve pulled this off if her vocals were a little more in tune here.  A little more work and this could be a whole lot better.  Nice enough there’s a violin solo though.

10. All of Me

After that 5 minute+ song, we get a pretty sultry song from Aibon and the bounce of the song really picks the mood up after all those ballads.  She did pretty good on this cover and her peppyness showed quite nicely and her English, while still not amazing is better here.  Good job!

11. 17sai yo Sayonara

Then as a kind of interesting twist to end the album, Aibon decides to cover a Japanese song originally sung by The Peanuts, but that in itself was a cover of an Italian song “Arrivederci”.  I really like the more fluttery kind of opening and that definitely grabbed my attention.  Also this song features Ai singing in her native language and while her vocals are pretty high, this song is definitely one of the stronger songs.  Even better with a bass solo, a flute solo, and a piano solo….there’s even cowbell!!!

Tracks Recommended

  • 17sai yo Sayonara
  • Blue Moon
  • All of Me
  • When You Wish Upon a Star

Song of Avoidance

  • Over the Rainbow

Wow, Aibon’s first album was a shocker.  I mean everyone knows Aibon as 1/2 of w, one of the energetic members in both Momosu and Minimoni as well.  To see that after “no hesitAtIon”, Ai was going Jazz for her next released shocked me and also intrigued me because while she doesn’t have the most amazing set of vocals or a good grasp of the English language.  This album marks a good stepping stone for her, and perhaps from this album, she’ll get better vocally and musically.

 

2 Responses to “Ai Kago – AI KAGO meets JAZZ ~The first door~”

  1. yaoirox666 Says:

    xD I had already listened to the album, but I gave it a second listening to yesterday while reading your review 😀

    I had mixed feelings about it. The only song I have from it is “Night and Day”. Her English was pretty good, and she sounds cute singing to the whole “jazz” genre, but I just couldn’t get into the rest of it. : /

  2. abaraba Says:

    While the piano solo to me was a bit too long here, Ai didn’t do too bad, but it wasn’t as good as the previous songs

    I thought the opposite. I wished the piano solo was longer lol. It’s so jazzy and awesome… all the musical arrangements.
    ai kago has that engrish going on… i’ve heard worse obviously but still.

    but japanese people hated her album and that she’s looking at jazz lightly and it’s just really offensive and she only got this album made b.c. of who she is not because of her talent. i wholeheartedly agree.

    amazon.co.jp if you’re interested in those reviews.


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