Anu Malik۪s nephew Amaal Mallik has been on a musical high and creating waves in Bollywood in 2015 with has commendable work in Roy۪ (2015), All Is Well۪ (2015), Hero۪ (2015) and Ek Paheli Leela۪ (2015). Starting 2016 with Airlift۪ sounds like a new Mallik doing a totally different genre of film from his previous work. A historical thriller of perhaps one of the biggest air evacuations of Indians from war torn Kuwait in 1990, Airlift۪ stars Akshay Kumar and TRS advert girl Nimrat Kaur in the lead roles. Looking at the trailer the film would have aspects of action, suspense and thriller with Indian patriotic elements and possibly some romance with the lead couple which Mallik is really good at. The short 5 song album also features a song by Ankit Tiwari with all songs written by the amazing Kumaar. The album has the right talent mix to build high expectations but with a limiting story plot it would be a challenge to deliver commercially massive songs.
The lead song Soch Na Sake is a typical Bollywood soft romantic ballad that is very well sung by Arijit Singh. He has taken a softer than his usual approach on a lower key that gives a deep melody that works well for this composition. Mallik has produced some good romantic songs so far and this is one of his best. It has the clich̩d Bollywood style that sounds very familiar but is distinct too. The instrumentation is a good mashup of traditional Tabla & Santoor strings with some nicely done acoustic guitars, drum pad beat and keyboard work. The bridges are very nicely done too keeping the feel of the song consistent throughout. Kumaar۪s lyrics are heart-felt and has the maturity of a love relationship between a married couple not that of college sweethearts or first love moments which is rather refreshing to hear. Tulsi Kumar delivers a decent supporting female vocal performance that is perhaps not too memorable. A good song overall but perhaps not designed to be a major commercial success.
Dil Cheez Tujhe Dedi is the musical work of Ankit Tiwari who takes you quite confidently to Middle East with the arrangement style and instrumentation used on this song. The song clearly takes inspiration from the 1992 Cheb Khaled superhit Didi but of course with some Bollywood touch to it. Arijit Singh leads the vocals again as he works with Tiwari in making this the party song of the album by bringing in the flavours of Kuwait in this song. On the whole the song does work as a slow party song but lacks a punch. Arijit۪s vocals are quite average and so are the lyrics by Kumaar. The song is easy to sing along to but considering the average overall work on it on all fronts it won۪t last too long on airplay to be sung along to.
Mera Nachan Nu in the voices of Divya Kumar, Brijesh Shandilya and also Amaal Mallik taking on the mic is a Punjabi touch celebratory song that is perhaps a better party song than Dil Cheez Tujhe Dedi. The lyrics are a lot better and a dholki beat never fails to get one going and will easily get everyone in the nachan mood. A typical communal party song, it should have a number of characters in this song and although very situational in what seems a proper celebration which in the case of this film should possibly when the Indians get rescued in Kuwait. Kumar۪s vocals are contemporary considering his rural voice texture that creates an interesting vocal melody added with Shandilya۪s and Mallik۪s supporting vocals. The lyrics have a gorgeous flow to it and is simplistic in every way combined with the arrangement that makes this an easy song to sing along to and could become a good wedding party song for the current wedding season in India.
KK takes to the mic next in Tu Bhoola Jise that is clearly the theme song of the film. The patriotic touch to it is quite engaging and n less compared to any iconic war film but with a civilian touch to the lyrics this time. The grand orchestration and specifically the trumpets work on it is quite good. The contrast of soft KK vocals is cleverly done who then takes it to the higher notes in matter of seconds that is totally representative of KK۪s style. He really brings the lyrics alive here and brings the vigour of a patriotic song to life. With Vande Mataram chorus at the end the patriotism is well imposed on this song. This is a very well arranged song and perhaps one of the best situational patriotic songs of the current time.
Arijit Singh takes leading song Soch Na Sake (solo version) alone next which is pretty much exactly the same composition and arrangement. The lyrics are almost the same as well so not really sure of the reason of this song as it really does not add any value to the album.
Amaal Mallik delivers a short but a decent soundtrack with Airlift۪. There are no major chart toppers here but it is musically sound with good songs delivered tastefully within the limitations of the film۪s intense genre. There is good variety ranging from a love song with Soch Na Sake to a patriotic song with Tu Bhoola Jise to a couple of party songs with Mera Nachan Nu and Dil Cheez Tujhe Dedi. The lyrics and vocals are well delivered throughout by Kumaar and the likes of Arijit Singh, KK and Divya Kumar who all deliver startling performances. Ankit Tiwari is not at his best with his one song but does a fair job with getting the Middle Eastern vibe true to the location of the film. Kudos to young Mallik for consistently delivering good music here with the support of the amazing Kumaar by his side. On the whole this is a good album to listen to but not a great one with standard music delivery with the lack of big superhit numbers and more songs to fill in the album further.
BizAsia Showbiz Rating 6.5/10