Ada… A Way of Life – Music Review

Since we were not around the last time Ada’s music released, and I happen to adore some of the songs, AND since it is Rahman, I decided to write a review anyways. So here goes.. You can listen to the songs here.

The highlight of the album is beyond doubt Meherbaan, Rahman going the Vellai Pookkal way to produce another brilliantly tranquil track. Rahman has always sounded his best with soft melodies, and the way he croons this song just underlines the fact in bold. The song is equally alluring in its instrumental version, Sanjeev Thomas doing a spic job first with the acoustic guitar and then with the electric guitar. Ishq Ada too impresses in both its versions. While Rashid Ali’s Arabic-styled rendition accentuates the Middle East flavor in the arrangement, debutant Parul Mishra sort of dilutes that in the female version with her classical base, topping it with a splendid alaap in the second interlude (presumably in Subhapanthuvarali). Hawa Sun Hawa carries the breezy, mildly ambient quality that ARR has employed in movies like Taal and Yuvvraaj. And for that reason sounds sort of repetitive too. Nevertheless it does make for a good listen, courtesy Sonu Nigam and Alka Yagnik.

Sonu and Alka get together again for Gum Sum, a regular foot-tapper with some interesting points in the arrangement like the mandolin motif and the bass riff that happens towards the end. The other dance-y track, Gulfisha, fails to make an impact, the plain tune being its undoing. And even some quality arrangement and singing by Sunidhi, Sonu and Vivienne Chaix don’t help much. Sunidhi has been a surprising exclusion by Rahman all these years for the quality of her singing, this being only the second song from the combo. And not a very memorable one at that either.

Of the two sad songs, Jayachandran’s debut Hindi song with Alka — Milo Wahan Wahan — turns out a mildly engaging fare, Rahman elaborating on a short piece that had appeared in the background of Mani Ratnam’s Kannathil Mutthamittal (a movie that had incidentally featured a gem from the ARR-Jayachandran combo). The other song, Hai Dard, is another of the less impressive songs from the album, despite Udit Narayan’s soulful singing. In places it did remind me of Aye Ajnabi, but this one falls far behind in its appeal. Things end on a high note though, Chitra, Sukhwinder Singh and Naresh Iyer presenting the prayer-like Tu Mera Hai. While the extravagant orchestration carries a tingly feel about it, Chitra totally aces the vocals part, with an excellent chanting by Naresh in the interludes. Sukhwinder strangely sounds off-colour in comparison.

Three songs that are just about average, but on the other hand, SEVEN songs that are excellent! Loved the album when it released, and two years later, the charm has anything but worn off, for some songs at least.

Music Aloud Rating — 8.25/10

Recommended Tracks — The bottom line says it all! :)