Ada - the album is aptly tagged "A Musical journey by A.R.Rahman", for he has been composing for this film for about 7 years and the album takes us through a journey with ARR!!!

The album starts with the male version of Ishq Ada Hai rendered by Rashi Ali, the guitarist who has been playing guitars for ARR for quite sometime now. Though he has sung "Nadhirdhinna" in Parthale paravasam, it went unnoticed... Ishq Ada should prove to be a nice platform for him, to launch him as a singer, for it showcases his powerful voice brilliantly! The waltz pattern, the addictive accordion bits, the simple tune - all of these make the song instantly likeable.

Then comes Hawa Sun Hawa - one of the most beautiful melodies composed by ARR. Rendered by Sonu and younger-sounding (less shrill) Alka Yagnik (probably recorded in 2002-2003), this track takes time to grow on. But this one will become one of the songs, closest to the heart! Naveen adds more beauty to this song with the wonderful flute interludes, which leaves you yearning for more!!

Gumsum Gumsum is one of the tracks that was given for the remix contest, which was organised for promoting the movie. So I'd heard first 60 seconds of just the voice track and imagined that it would be a totally western track with drums et al! Lo and behold... Rahman surprised me totally, making it a desi track with dholaks!! Was this composed at about the same time as Water? I felt there was an "aayo re" hangover in the santoor interludes (just the style, I mean!). Another duet for Sony and Alka and they do a commendable job!
And, how could I forget the short guitar surprise at around 3:40!!! The muted guitar bit is MAGICAL!!!

Sonu Nigam comes back, this time accompanied by Sunidhi Chauhan (her second song for Rahman) for Gulfisha. And Sunidhi works wonders in this one! The song starts of with French chants by Viviane Chaix and then Sonu takes . But, it is Sunidhi who takes it to a completely new level! The point when she switches to the high pitched Gulfisha from the low pitched one (at around 1:18) is mindblowing!! This song, too, will take sometime to grow on you!

The next song in the album is the one which brings in the "what came first - chicken or egg" type question back again - Does Rahman always choose to render the best song of the album or does the song become the best because of Rahman's rendition? yes... Meherbaan rendered by ARR is definitely the "Song of the album". Starting as a soft melody with backed by piano and a gentle rhythm, it it becomes rock-ish with distortion guitars in the second half of the song, still retaining the melodic feel. There's a certain something in his voice which makes any song he sings, SPECIAL! This one is no different!

Next in the album, Tu Mera Hai must be one of the songs recorded during the later half of Rahman's 7 year long "Musical journey", for it features Naresh Iyer along with Chitra and Sukhwinder! Sukhwinder and Chitra have done a commendable job, with Naresh Iyer chipping in with the "laahi laahi" bit! Though this was my least fav in the album, this one is rapidly moving up my list!!

Rahman tries to recreate the "Ae Ajnabi" magic with Hai Dard - a sad song sung by Udit Narayan - and pulls it off! Though not as powerful as the classic Dil Se track, this one is great in its own right. The song is styled like a 1970s bollywood pathos song, in waltz beats. Udit's voice aptly conveys the emotions of the lover in pain! The sax interludes create a mystic feel to the song!

Parul Mishra, the winner of Fever FM's Voice Hunt (held last November), makes her debut with Ishq Ada Hai. Her voice is fresh and quite unusual. She carries off the song with ease, and makes this song rank higher than the male version! The backing vocals and arrangements are quite different from the male version of the song.

Legendary Malayalam singer P.Jayachandran makes his Hindi debut with the pathos number, Milo Wahan Wahan, with Alka for company. Alka starts off the song, and sets the mood of the song perfectly. When Jayachandran joins in, the song moves up a few notches! The highlight of the song is the second stanza by Jayachandran (starting 5:05). What a voice!
The lyrics, are a bit of a letdown - though the mood of the song is conveyed perfectly in the lyrics, the lines are far from poetic!

Sanjeev Thomas mesmerises us with the Guitar instrumental version of "Meherbaan". The instrumental is as impressive as the original sung by Rahman. The use of distortion guitar for the high pitched parts and normal electric guitars for the softer parts speaks of the genius of the man!

In all, Ada is a classic - on the likes of Meenaxi or Taal - a must-have for any music lover.

PS: ARR composed this album over a period of 7 years.... I wrote this review over a period of 21 days!! :P