Aadai – Music Review (Tamil Soundtrack)

Songs and musician credits at the end of the review.

Chennai band Oorka (of which singer/composer Pradeep Kumar is bassist) repurpose two songs from their eponymous debut album from 2016 (which you must listen to, if you haven’t yet) for Aadai’s soundtrack. Poranthu Eranthum from the album appears here as Onnumilla, with no perceivable change aside of the title. The incredibly groovy rock-flavoured piece is written and sung (and competently so on both fronts) by the band’s main man Bharath Sankar. The song starts off almost like retro swing jazz thanks to the muted setting, before opening up closer to the minute mark. Guitarist Jhanu Chanthar and drummer Tapass Naresh are exceptional on their parts, even though my favourite is the jazzy bass line from Pradeep. While the pensive tone of Bharath’s lines is a tad belied by the song’s sprightly nature, in Nee Vaanavilla they receive a more fittingly sombre treatment. Another entrant from Oorka’s 2016 album, this one has Shaktisree Gopalan’s voice replacing Bharath Sankar (and also a couple of keyboard refrains from the original song). And even as the singer delivers the song with finesse as she is wont to do with such compositions, the band – Jhanu and Tapass especially – is in spectacular form in the backdrop building up the song’s intensity as it progresses.

The soundscape takes a quieter, more ambient turn with Oru Naal, composed by Marti Bharath – and this has to do with the fact that Bharath is one half of the Chennai based electronic act Sapta (the other half is incidentally Oorka drummer Tapass Naresh). Beautifully immersive track, this. It is perhaps Pradeep’s rendition, or the general mood of the song that takes my mind back to 96’s Life of Ram at times. Love the guitar strains (Abhinav Krishnaswamy) strewn across the song. Pradeep Kumar takes up the composer helm with the Aadai Theme, a stirring orchestral piece (strings and choir arranged by Kalyani Nair) that perfectly fits the movie’s apparent tone. Pradeep’s other track is an out and out wacky piece titled Thoppi that sees a lot of oddities (including a Rajni quote) thrown into a jazz-folk fusion piece. Vijaynarain (who is soon turning composer himself, with Santhanam-starrer Dagaalty) leads this one ably, while the composer, alongside Vignesh Rajagopalan and Vasanth plays chorus. Bringing up the album’s rear is Raksha Raksha Jaganmatha (available as a separate single on all platforms, because different label) – Pradeep and Oorka’s take on an old devotional song originally composed by K Veeramani and written by Kalpanadasan. The song starts with a current rendition of the first verse by the veteran singer P Susheela (a lovely touch getting her to record again, IMO) before switching to an adaptation featuring bits from the original recording. While the adaptation is quite a competent one, I have generally felt that such heavy rock-based fusion works best for darker ragas, and it doesn’t feel as impactful with a raga like anandabhairavi (on which this composition is based). Nevertheless, a good track to end the album with, and happy to have discovered a lovely devotional song in the process.

Aadai. Pradeep Kumar continues to show great promise as a composer, as does debutant Marti Bharath. And I hope that more people will go check out Oorka’s underrated indie works based on this soundtrack.

Music Aloud Rating: 3.5/5

Top Recos: Nee Vaanavilla, Onnumilla, Oru Naal

Musician Credits

Nee Vaanavilla

Singer – Shakthishree Gopalan.
Lyricist – Bharath Sankar.
Music composed and arranged by Oorka.
Mixed and Mastered by Rahul Ramachandran.
Recorded at Island city Studios Mumbai and 20db Studios Chennai.
Mixed at 20db Studios Chennai.
Sound Design & Mix – Sreesan G
Bharath Sankar – Keys
Jhanu Chanthar – Guitar
Pradeep Kumar – Bass
Tapass Naresh – Drums


Singer – Bharath Sankar.
Lyrics – Bharath Sankar & Sivam .
Keys – Bharath Sankar.
Guitar – Jhanu Chanthar.
Bass – Pradeep Kumar.
Drums – Tapass Naresh.
Composed and arranged by Oorka.
Mixed and Mastered by Rahul Ramachandran.
Recorded @ Island City Studios Mumbai.

Aadai theme song

Piano – Pradeep Kumar.
Backing Vocals – Pradeep Kumar, Marti Bharath, Kalyani Nair, Vidhya Vijay.
String Quartet and Choir arranged by Kalyani Nair.

Members of the quartet:
Zoltán Tuska
Bertalan Veér
Emil Csonka
Péter Háry
Session supervisor: Bálint Sapszon
Recording Engineer: Dénes Rédly
Music Preparation: Anna Sapszon
Recorded @ Studio 22 Budapest.
Mixed and Mastered by Rahul Ramachandran.
Composed by Pradeep Kumar.

Oru Naal

Singer – Pradeep Kumar.
Backing Vocals – Marti Bharath.
Guitars – Abhinav krishnaswamy.
Bass – Pradeep Kumar
Composed and arranged by Marti Bharath.


Singer – Vijaynarain.
Backing Vocals – Vignesh Rajagopalan, Vasanth, Pradeep Kumar.
Lyrics – Rathna Kumar
Additional Programming – Bharath Sankar.
Music by Pradeep Kumar.
Mixed and Mastered by Rahul Ramachandran.

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