Review: “TAG” by Adriana Kaegi

Written by on June 2, 2009

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Huge Selection of Fun Products themed to the 1980s

When Adriana Kaegi, the Original “Mama Coconut” and co-founder of Kid Creole and the Coconuts, was on Revenge of the 80s in March, we teased her upcoming album, TAG, which she recently released (our discussion can be found here).

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Adriana Kaegi’s career might be best described as that of a superstar NBA point guard who controls the game and makes his teammates better. [amazonify]B0028EW450[/amazonify] It is arguable that there may never have been a “Kid Creole” without her; Adriana was the driving force behind The Coconuts and Boomerang, the trio she formed with Cheryl Lee Porier and Perri Lister. She has supported a vast array of musical acts though her voice, costume design, and choreography skills. As the President of Dear Addy Productions, Adriana showcases and publicizes work from other artists and top events. Now, with TAG, Adriana Kaegi is finally in the spotlight.
Adriana is a special performer in many ways: she is multi-lingual, has a beautiful speaking and singing voice, and adds a higher level of style and class to all of the projects she contributes to either out front or behind-the-scenes.

Photo of Adriana taken by Ryan “Dangerous” Smith:


TAG, however, is a creation that proves Kaegi would not settle for the moderate flavor that definition indicates. While TAG offers a warm and relaxing tone, it would be unfair to compare the this jewel of an album to “mood music.” With ingeniously-configured eclectic instrumentation, Adriana’s enchanting voice and soothing jazzy beats, TAG invites listeners on a plethora of imaginary adventures with her instrumental “International Intrigue,” to a seductive romp through “Garden of Sin” and back to the beach sipping martinis with “Ooh La La.”

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Adriana begins TAG with “C’est Ma Vie,” a track that brilliantly sets the classy, sophisticated tone of the album just before slowing things down with a musical commentary on love and materialism with “When the Money Runs Out.” Her careful selection of horns, woodwinds, percussion and long crazy saw come together well musically but also seem to help Adriana tell her story. All of that set the tone for the romantic mood of “It Feels Like I am Dreaming,” a love story contrasting the contemplations of the woman narrating “When the Money Runs Out” and the following song, “Is It Love.”

While the first three cuts are more modern-sounding in nature, with “Is It Love,” Adriana pays homage to the the alternative jazz-lounge days of the 1940s as she leads a slick upright bass and tympani that add to the list of instruments featured in TAG. Adriana is no stranger to such a mix of instrumentalists, as her time with Kid Creole and the Coconuts was spent with musicians with similarly-diverse talents.

Fans of the multi-culti-band Adriana co-founded in 1980 may already know of her varied talents, and TAG offers a wide variety of them: “Hamptons” shows Kaegi’s stunning voice to be as suited for the spoken word as it is for singing while she gracefully, yet matter-of-factly talks of social status and the “right places” to live. The former Lead Coconut offers a tropical flavor with “Garden of Sin,” adds funk to the downbeat styling of “Blue Blooded Blues,” raps in French for “What You Got” and takes us back to the lounge with “Ooh La La.”

A Dear Addy Productions video featuring “Hamptons”:

Perhaps the most musically intriguing track on TAG is “Roulette.” which combines alt-jazz funk rhythms with minor keys and Middle Eastern-style woodwinds and an important life message: Don’t Want to play Roulette/Life ain’t nothing but a game. “International Intrigue,” which is seemingly a throwback to the spy movies of the late 1960s, is the lone instrumental; it was actually part of a project Kaegi did with Dear Addy Productions, and was added to the album.

Kaegi with Porier and Taryn Hagey of The Coconuts:

Adriana brings her own exotic brand of elegance and character to each track on TAG, which makes her a unique talent with an unmatchable style. While she led, produced and contributed to several musical projects throughout her long career, a solo album from Adriana Kaegi is probably long overdue. TAG, however, is definitely worth the wait and is an exceptional addition to one’s music library.

Also, be on the lookout for Adriana’s soon-to-be-released documentary, Kid Creole and My Coconuts:

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Reader's opinions
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