The expectations were colossal when the promotion for the music of low profile ADA…A WAY OF LIFE got its major contribution by big wigs like NOKIA and BIG MUSIC through their proposed world-wide contest. After mediocre results of JAANE TU YA JAANE NA, this media-hype range bells for the album to be first major musical blockbuster of the year from maestro A.R. Rahman. It has the quality, substance and finesse that capture listener’s hearts but lacks the fiery innovation and thriving versatility that can match today’s style and vigor.
A.R. Rahman showed synergy of Sufi ‘qawalli’ style and melody struck Urdu ‘shayari’ in tracks like ‘Ishq Bina’ (TAAL) with panache and now makes analogous moves with gloomy tones in ‘Ishq Ada’. Rashid Ali’s expressive vocals permeate into the pathos of melancholically paced Arabic music with blend of spirited country music stylized guitar riffs and contemporary percussive elements. Raqeeb Alam’s poetically versed lyrics have the affluence of communicative Urdu ‘shayari’ that works expressively to depict the distressed sentiments. Upcoming talent Parul Mishra sings out the female version that brings out suavity of 60’s stylized music with strong blend of Arabic instrumental flows and Sufi flavors. Rashid’s version sounds better for its penetrative emotional touches but overall both the versions sound too classy in their experimentation.
It’s soulful enchantment to hear one the finest duets of this year making its tender presence in ‘Hawa Sun Sun’. Expressively communicative vocals of Sonu Nigam along with shimmering rendition of Alka Yagnik create moments of melodic austerity. Rahman makes modest moves by applying traditional instrumentals (tabla, flute) mesmerized with fine contours of echoing vocals and delectable electronic sounds in creating an aura of eternal serenity. Nusrat Badr’s refined poetry is impeccable in its soothing flows. Alka Yagnik scores her finest track in recent times while Sonu Nigam’s brilliant rendition leads the show from the front. Outstanding!!!
After everlasting tender moments in ‘Hawa Sun Sun’, its time for some contemporary musical madness from Sonu Nigam and Alka Yagnik in routine sounding ‘Gum Sum’. Rahman’s music makes heavy use of conventional arrangements in recurring flows with strong impression of stringed instruments like ‘santoor’, ‘jaltarang’ to create hilly romantic feel. It arrives too late as similar sounding tracks were once rage but now it sounds too repetitive.
‘Gulfisha’, a vivaciously evocative song brings out the passions of tracks like ‘Saathiya’ (SAATHIYA) for its soulful vocals and synchronized arrangements. It has concoction of different genres with engrossing thumping, drumming and tittering sounds adding to its impacts. Sonu Nigam creates a commotion of romantic flair with varying Sunidhi Chauhan’s vocals. Nusrat Badr’s lyrics have the typical Urdu poetry flows that affably permeate into its harmonized flows.
A.R. Rahman made its international influence with tracks like ‘Ek Mohabbat’ and ‘Maa Tujhe Saalam’ and now ‘Meherbaan’ brings out the similar soul-stirring feel in its soft and tantalizing appeal. Rahman’s sings mellifluously this ‘thanks-giving’ soundtrack in low octave with relaxing ‘lounge’ music ambience. Raqueeb Alam’s thought provoking words interwove the mystical natural charms with the submission of humanistic attitude with great poetic strength. It has nimble-fingered piano works (similar to Elton John’s tracks) followed by lively-paced acoustic and bass guitar riffs that gels appreciably in delivering magical serenity in ‘Meherban (Instrumental)’. Soul-stirring!!!
Rahman creates a typical sentimental ‘Sufi’ feel of everlasting love that has been making news in his previous albums in moderate sounding ‘Tu Mera Hai’. Chitra’s in her peculiar vociferous outrage along with throaty Sukhwinder Singh emotes out the sentiments. Naresh Iyer’s supple sounding back-up vocals work up well in evoking pathos but the arrangements are too placidly customary.
Udit Narayan made resounding impact in ‘Ae Ajnabee’ (DIL SE) with his gentle excruciating expressions and now ‘Hai Dard’ revives those piercing sentiments. Despite similar genre, mood and emotions, it sounds meek comparison and fails to be inspirational to leave any heartrending impact on ears. This overtly sloppy number drags to large extent with unimposing wordings and ordinary sounding composition.
Rahman makes another modest effort in ‘Milo Waha Waha’, old-fashioned musical number with contemporary lyrical elements. Alka Yagnik’s modulating and excruciating vocal flair holds the major spotlight to make all the impressive moves. Jayachandran’s soft vocal textures sound welcoming but the routine sounding composition is too dragging in its duration and substance.
ADA…A WAY OF LIFE revives the peculiar A R Rahman style of music that was once big rage in tinsel town. Despite big aspirations from the maestro himself, the album proves to be mixed bag with couple of wonderful soundtracks delivering the needful. Soundtracks like ‘Ishq Ada’, ‘Hawa Sun Hawa’, ‘Gulfisha’ and ‘Meherbaan’ holds maximum promise for its quality substance while rest of them simply adds to the credits.