Ananda (Sanskrit: Bliss) is the eighth studio album by Mexican recording artist Paulina Rubio, released on September 16, 2006 by Universal Music Latino.
The album's first single is the mellow pop rock song, "Ni Una Sola Palabra", written by Xabier San Martín (member of the Spanish band La Oreja de Van Gogh). The single was released on radio on July 24, 2006. Among the collaborators mentioned to appear on the album are Cachorro López, Colombian singer Juanes, Julieta Venegas and Coti (the Argentine responsible for Rubio's 2004 hit single "Te Quise Tanto").
On September 16, 2006 two days before the album's official release date, Mexican stores put the album on sale to avoid piracy; this led the album's leaking that same day. In addition, some stores carry a special version of the album that includes a poster autographed by Rubio. On August 29, 2007, Cachorro López received a Latin Grammy nomination for Producer of the Year, for his work on Ananda.
On April 28, 2007, the official Paulina Rubio website announced that the album sold 500,000 copies worldwide. Ananda was certified gold and platinum in Mexico and Spain. The album was also awarded the first ever Tarabu de Oro award for digital sales of over 250,000 downloads in Mexico alone.
For the production of this album, Paulina collaborated with songwriters and producers Xabier San Martín from La Oreja de Van Gogh, Fernando Montesinos, Eric Sanicola, Brooke Ross, Gustavo Celis, Nika García, Julieta Venegas, Juanes, Cachorro López, Sebastian Schon, Sandra Baylac, Maria Christensen, Jonnie "Most" Davis, Marc Nelkin, Adrián Sosa, Áureo Baqueiro, Marcelo Berestovoy, Tricky Stewart and once again with Coti as well as featuring Guns N' Roses ex-guitarist Slash on the track "Nada Puede Cambiarme". Once more, Paulina takes part in the songwriting aspect of the album for the third time in three of the album's tracks: "Ayúdame", "Lo Que Pensamos" and "Tú y Yo".
The album received very good reviews. Jason Birchmeier, from AllMusic commented on the album saying: "With Ananda, her third impressive all-new album in a row, it seems like Paulina Rubio has her career as one of Latin pop's biggest and brightest hitmakers on safe ground, following a frustrating decade with EMI in the '90s and an unsuccessful bid for English-language-translated crossover in 2002 (the stilted Border Girl, probably best forgotten). The former Mexican child star, a.k.a. La Chica Dorada, certainly has been through a lot, so it's reassuring to see her settle into such a smooth-running groove -- and it's especially reassuring for fans, who have had to wait several years between new albums. Rest assured, the two-and-a-half-year wait for Ananda was worthwhile, just as the four-year gap between her comeback album (and Universal Latino debut), Paulina (2000), and the kaleidoscopic Pau-Latina (2004) was indeed worthwhile. What makes Ananda so enjoyable, however, beyond the satisfaction of its impressiveness in the wake of its anticipation, is how different it is from her past work. Granted, the freneticism and electronic-tinged production prowess of Pau-Latina was a stretch from the relatively straightforward Latin pop of Paulina. But to then fully embrace restrained pop/rock, as Rubio does throughout Ananda, is surprising. If anything, one might have expected Rubio to urbanize her style with reggaeton flourishes, since she's such a huge pop star and since that seems to be the prevailing Latin musical trend of the moment. After all, even Shakira -- probably the most individual of Latin pop stars -- embraced reggaeton inflections with "La Tortura", the runaway Latin pop hit of 2005."
"Instead, Rubio heads in the opposite direction, collaborating with some of the most tasteful and mannered artists in contemporary popular Latin music, most notably Julieta Venegas, Juanes, and Xabi San Martín (better known in the guise of his band, La Oreja de Van Gogh), who each contribute a song. In addition, she collaborates with Cachorro López, the producer partly responsible for the wealth of wonders on Venegas' Limón y Sal (2006), as well as several other producers with grade-A résumés: Áureo Baqueiro, Rick Wake, Toy Hernández, Tricky Stewart, and even Gustavo Santaolalla, who co-produces "Hoy" with his longtime associate, Adrián Sosa. (If that weren't enough, even former Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash is a collaborator, oddly enough, laying down a solo on "Nada Puede Cambiarme".) Because each of these collaborators appears on only one or two songs, and because the recording of Ananda allegedly took over a year—at Rubio's home studio in Madrid, no less—the resulting album is an exceptionally solid collection of 13 would-be hits, each interesting and pleasing in its own fashion. It all kicks off with a run of radio-ready singalongs, beginning with lead single "Ni Una Sola Palabra," and works through some guitar-driven rock songs before wrapping up with a few uplifting dance-pop songs and a breezy ballad to top it all off. Really, there's little to not like here if you enjoy Spanish-language pop/rock that is well written and impeccably produced. Granted, some may grumble about the lack of Mexican motifs, or the subdued turn away from dance music, or even the reliance on outsiders. Well, grumble away, because Rubio seems to be in such a comfortable place on Ananda that she could probably care less. For instance, the title she chose for this album is based upon "a worldwide movement based on the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda" (www.ananda.org) -- a spiritual form of yoga, that is—a world removed from all the reggaeton and duranguense concurrently overtaking the Latin marketplace. Listeners who likewise would prefer to remove themselves from such a marketplace might start with Ananda."
Ananda entered the Billboard 200 chart at number 25 on October 7, 2006. It is the highest debut on the chart for a Paulina Rubio Spanish-language album, selling 30,000 copies in its first week in the United States and 83,000 worldwide. Less than two months after its release, Ananda had sold half a million copies worldwide, and nearly 80,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen Soundscan.
Ananda spawned only three official singles; one of them became Paulina's third number one single on Latin radio in the United States: "Ni Una Sola Palabra". Even more, Paulina received several awards for this song's success and "Ni Una Sola Palabra" was certified platinum in Spain. Although a video featuring footage from Paulina's Love, Light and Sound Tour of "Qué Me Voy a Quedar" was filtered on the Internet, it was never released as an official single. With the exception of "Ni Una Sola Palabra", other singles from the album like "Ayúdame" and "Nada Puede Cambiarme" did not fare as well as did the singles from Pau-Latina.
NotesThe English version of the Spanish song Miénteme Una Vez Más titled as 'Beautiful Lie' was not made part of the album/track-listings in any of the physically or digitally released versions of the album Ananda or ever officially released by Universal, however it was incorporated into Rubio's set-list of her international tour Amor, Luz y Sonido Tour.
On March 20, 2007, Universal Records released a Deluxe Edition of Ananda which included three versions of two of the album's singles, a previously unreleased bonus track and a DVD with nearly 50 minutes of never-before seen material. This edition was released in North America only.