“Spiritually inspired, Globally-tinged Folk and Americana music”
a review in New Renaissance Magazine
Spiritually inspired, Globally-tinged Folk and Americana music is what you’ll find on “Love Is The Best,” Dada’s second album overall. He seamlessly melds the rhythms of rock, country and Americana folk with the ancient wisdom of Yoga, bringing together such disparate strains to create a remarkable, eclectic music collection
“Encouraging, uplifting messages that embrace the All”
a review in Phosphorescence Magazine
You’ve got to love Dada Veda and his encouraging, uplifting messages that embrace the All. This singer-songwriter, monk, and yoga/meditation teacher hailing from Urbana, Illinois, released his second CD, entitled Love Is The Best, in August 2009. In a straightforward way, with folk sensibility and a country rock feel, Dada Veda communicates his belief in the power of positive thinking on the opening track, “We Are Never Alone or Helpless.” The optimistic “From Zero to Hero” is perfect for children, delivered in a way that holds attention with catchy beats and refrains.
Unexpected gifts are found throughout the CD, whether it be the blending of voices and harmonies on “Liberate Your Mind,” straight-up doo-wop wrapped in inspirational lyrics on “Open My Heart,” or an inspiring violin on “A Better Deal.” A favorite was “I’m Waiting For That Time,” with its universal heartfelt thoughts enveloped in lovely music that becomes infused with energy to end on a high note. The thing with Dada Veda’s message is that it is accessible to everyone and lives in that space where there is no controversy or competition between religions, just practical positivity for all. Also included is a chanting mantra (”Baba Nam Kevalam” = “Love is all there is”) set to moving background music. The final track, “Kiirtan Remix” is a futuristic, totally absorbing, danceable beat, that puts an upbeat, otherworldly spin on the Kiirtan mantra. Enjoy!
– Lily Emeralde and Emma Dyllan
“Unusual Merging of East and West”
a review by Janie Franz
Dada Veda’s second album, Love Is the Best, is a most unexpected offering. Its eleven songs reflect Dada Veda’s message of self awareness, peace, and love. Finding that on an album by a trained yoga monk is not at all surprising. Dada Veda is a member of Ananda Marga, a global spiritual and social service organization founded by Shrii Shrii Anandamurti, whose mission is to bring self-realization and service to human beings all over the globe. Dada Veda’s monastic name is Acarya Vedaprajinananda Avadhuta, and the honorific “Dada” that he uses in the much shortened form of his name means “respected elder brother.” (click here to continue reading the full review)
“Like Dylan, Dada Veda gives voice to enduring issues”
a review in All Access Magazine
Recorded in Tirana, Albania, Brighter than the Sun is a set of 13 acoustic songs that should leave the listener uplifted, refreshed, and hopeful for the future. (click here for the full review)
Hope, light, unity and better times ahead
a review in New Renaissance Magazine (www.ru.org)
From the opening title track Dada inspires us to look inside ourselves for answers. The simple peace of meditation and closeness to God is the central message. “He’s right there inside of us, He’s brighter than the sun,” sings Dada in his cheery voice, like a favorite uncle.
All the songs are upbeat and happy. They speak of hope, light, unity and better times ahead. Cynicism and phony sophistication dominate our tense and complex times. Dada, through his simplicity and charm, cuts through all that. His songs give us a mental break, and return us to an age of innocence. Perhaps, if we can re-discover some very basic spiritual values, we would not feel so lost today.
Dada’s style is reminiscent of Pete Seeger or even Woody Guthrie. He is backed by acoustic guitars on all songs. On some of the up-tempo songs drum, bass and electric guitar give a folk-rock feel.
The appeal of Dada’s songs lie in the familiarity and immediacy of the melodies and the message. Most of the songs are easy to learn. The lyrics and guitar chords are available on Dada’s web-site www.dadaveda.com. This CD may very well yield future sing-along favorites, suitable for campfires, front porches and spiritual gatherings in any country were English is spoken and sung. The best tracks include the vegetarian anthem “I don’t eat meat”, the call for universalism on “Rainbow of Humanity”, the good advice of “The Wise One Says”, and the call to change the world on “As the world spins around”.
If you’re a baby boomer, “Brighter than the Sun” will bring back the sixties and the starry eyed idealism that you secretly miss. If you are younger, but tired of all the artifice of modern music, let this CD show you how spirit and pure intentions will always count for much more than expensive equipment and clever posturing.
reviewed by Daniel Haven
It’s rare these days to find an album so positive it plants a smile on your face
Dada Veda (aka Acarya Vedaprajinananda Avadhuta) has led an interesting life. Born and raised in New York City, he attended Colgate University, became swept up with the flourishing hippie movement and hitchhiked to California, and is now an orange-robed monk of Ananda Marga. He’s currently based in Albania where he runs a kindergarten. Needless to say, this guy’s seen enough to sing about it.
On Brighter than the Sun, Dada Veda offers a collection of original feel-good folky tunes centered around unity, nature, and vegetarianism. Clearly the hippie era never ended for Dada Veda, which is fortunate for the listener. It’s rare these days to find an album so positive it plants a smile on your face when you hear the genuine, raw emotion in Dada Veda’s voice and accompanying guitar strumming.
“Common Home” is one of the more catchy tunes, preaching respect for the earth (Dada Veda actually suggests playing this song on Earth Day in the liner notes) while “Till I Find You” has an adventurous air about it, where the singer wakes up one morning and heads out “on the open road.” Dada Veda’s religious side shines through on “I Can Never Be Apart From You,” which he dedicates to the “Supreme One.”
You’re the sound of the mighty ocean roar,
you’re the calm in the midst of a war.
I feel your presence through and through,
I can never be apart from you ...
The most touching track is “One Fine Day (I’m Gonna Go with a Smile),” which is based on the work of Indian poet Tulsi Das and captures the emotional sentiment involved in both leaving and watching someone leave this world.
Dada Veda’s positive spirit is refreshing. While his voice may not rival the polished power of many vocalists in today’s music scene, Dada Veda more than makes up for it with his authenticity. This is the work of someone who has taken it upon himself to “be the change” (in the words of Gandhi) he wants to see in the world. On Brighter than the Sun, Dada Veda shines in his ability to convey simple messages of love and acceptance through the power of music. And that’s something quite bright indeed.
“Four Stars out of Four”
Indie Music Review said:
Unlike Motown, Dada Veda leaves his best song for last. “Forever and Ever” is a song about the most subtle and at the same time supreme of human emotions, what Dada Veda calls ‘devotion’. If called devotion when the relationship is one of disciple to teacher; when the relationship is between good friends, between parents and children, or between romantically involved couples this emotion is simply called ‘love’. Dada Veda ends this song with the Sanskrit words « Baba nam kevalum» which can be loosely translated as «Love is all you need».
Dada Veda is a spiritual folk singer, now living in Tirane, Albania. He was born in NYC, and has lived in many parts of the world as a yoga-meditation teacher and social worker. His music has, as might be expected, a strong spiritual, environmental, and social bent; all of which is welcome in this day of violent rap, and songs about microwave ovens or portable telephones.
He was asked what message he tries to convey in his music: “There are multiple messages in the music. There are social messages centering around the fact that we are one human race and that we should live together on this planet like a joint family. That means that we should respect each other and guarantee the rights of all. This is the social aspect of the music. There is also spiritual content in the music and the central idea here is that inside of each of us there is a spiritual core and that we should try to experience it.” All his songs are good articulators of these themes.
“Forever and Ever” is by far not the only jewel on the album. “Animals are my Friends”, a song also known as “I don’t eat meat” is a vegetarian anthem which was recently featured on Vegcast.com. No wonder, as in concerts this tune elicits foot stomping and hand clapping from the audience.
Another high-point is “In the Stillness of the Morning”, another song of devotion, which describes the longing of the disciple for her / his master; or of one lover for the loved one.
Also worth attention is “As the World Spins Around” which describes the plight of people around the world, who must struggle for their existence, while the people at the top of the pyramid reap fantastic gains. It can be seen as a plea for a more equal distribution of the world’s resources.
I lied earlier when I said the “Forever and Ever” is the best song on the album. The first time I heard “For Everyone” I was just taken aback by the poignancy and beauty of the simplicity and ultimate truthfulness of the opening lines: “Can anyone own the sun? Can anyone claim the moon? I think its plain to see that they shine for you and me, and everyone, for everyone.”
The most profound song is “One Fine Day”, which describes life and the ultimate inevitable death that ensues in an almost Buddhist open and optimist way: “One fine day I’m going to leave with a smile.”
What does Dada Veda want to achieve with his music? “I hope to both entertain and inspire people. Music is certainly for enjoyment and I hope people enjoy the music when they listen to the CD and have fun when they hear it live. I also hope that the lyrics will set people thinking about some deep themes, such as improving society and protecting the environment. And on top of this I hope the music will inspire listeners to go embark on the path of self realization.”
In addition to the many very strong songs on the album, there are some weaker moments. “Common Home”, an ecology song; and “Crimson Dawn”, though pleasant folk songs, with relevant themes, didn’t move me like the others.
All in all however Dada Veda’s Brighter than the Sun gets a full four stars out of four for his debut work. I look forward to hearing his next official release.
reviewed by Gary Levinison
Maybe there is something to this whole spiritual thing after all?
reviewed by www.bluesbunny.com
This album – by a yogic monk, no less, – came all the way from Albania to Bluesbunny Towers. Needless to say, it came as a bit of a surprise as musicians, by and large, have some fairly unhealthy habits but this yogic monk, Dada Veda, actually manages a kindergarten in Albania.
Again, it was a bit of culture shock listening to these songs. The subject matter is really quite wholesome – world peace, ecological issues, being vegetarian and so forth – and is diametrically opposed to the sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll that we are used to. Dada Veda’s voice is not outstanding but he obviously sings a lot as he makes the most of his limitations in that department. Perhaps the most intriguing thing is the sincerity of his delivery with the sentiments in “Crimson Dawn” coming across loud and clear. Even the simplistic sing-along “I Don’t Eat Meat” convinces. It is also true that sentiments like those expressed here seem rather dated in these days of mass cynicism but that does not make them invalid and indeed “One Fine Day” was actually quite uplifting in a modern hymn kind of way.
Overall, this is a pleasant album to listen to. You can’t doubt that Dada Veda believes in what he sings and that is not that common a feeling to get about a performance these days and Bluesbunny ended up viewing this album rather more positively than had been expected. Maybe there is something to this whole spiritual thing after all? Don’t think I’ll be giving up meat though…