Ai Kago Meets Jazz The First Door

Release Date: March 31, 2010

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
  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 Sayounara

Review

Ai Kago is a former member of Morning Musume who is most notable for being part of the popular 4th generation of the group, a founding member of Minimoni and as part of the group W with Tsuji Nozomi. She is also famous for being terminated from Hello! Project and Up Front Works in 2006 for behavioral misconduct.

In 2007 she returned to show business with a different image from her previous life in Hello! Project which is best exemplified by this, her most recent album, Ai Kago Meets Jazz ~The First Door~. To hear Kago as a lounge singer is something totally unexpected but it’s refreshing. I have always considered her the more vocally gifted out of the W duo and it’s nice to hear her try some much more challenging material than the standard Hello! Project fare.

As the title indicates, this is an album full of covers of Jazz tunes. And they’re almost all in English. (with the exception of one Japanese cover) Surprising? Yes. But her pronunciation is fairly spot on for a person who is not a native English speaker. I didn’t have any problems understanding what she was singing. Although, those who don’t have more attentive hearing will probably miss a word here or there. But if you know these songs even a little you shouldn’t have any problem keeping up.

This was a gutsy move by Kago. I sense that this probably will not totally appeal to her old fan base who are used to her singing up tempo vapid pop songs. But that’s cool, I don’t believe that she actually appeals to that sector of the market anymore anyway. Kudos to her for pulling this off very convincingly. After all, this could have been a mess of an album with a lesser talent.

Overall, an impressive outing that once again proves that there is life outside of Hello! Project.

Ai Kago Meets Jazz ~The First Door~

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