T-Series and Nikkhil Advani had last collaborated on ‘Patiala House’, which had a very good soundtrack by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy. Even as standalone entities Nikkhil and Bhushan Kumar (T-Series) have helmed several films which boasted of good music. One hopes that the fact they have a keen ear for good music reflects in the soundtrack of ‘Airlift’, their joint venture directed by Raja Krishna Menon. Given the theme of the film, one cannot really expect a musical here but a couple of good songs should aid this Akshay Kumar – Nimrat Kaur starrer in gathering some steam before it hits the theatres.
Amaal Mallik, credited with four of the five songs, does a commendable job in recreating the Punjabi “Soch” track, sung by Hardy Sandhu and originally composed by B Praak, into “Soch Na Sake”. The arrangements are a good mix of contemporary and traditional sounds. Kumaar writes some simple lines in Hindi and Punjabi which go well with the flow of the song. Arijit Singh does a swell job as always. There are two versions of the song. One would prefer the version sung solely by Arijit as in the duet version, Tulsi Kumar’s voice does not seem to be getting into the mould of the song.
“Dil Cheez Tujhe Dedi” is an Ankit Tiwari composition and thankfully, it is not a love song with the singer/composer droning his way through it. When one had got tired of listening to Tiwari’s templatized songs, this Arijit Singh sung track comes as a breath of fresh air as one can finally see the composer trying out something different from his style. Even this dance number has a predictable Middle Eastern sound, the tune is upbeat and engages you with the first listening itself.
“Mera Nachan Nu”, sung by Divya Kumar, Brijesh Shandilya and Amaal Mallik, has a festive feel to it and seems tailor-made for Akshay Kumar. The upbeat track has all the elements of a Bhangra number but Amaal makes sure that the listeners do not suffer from the boredom of an oft-repeated Bhangra tune. His composition is lively and melodious at the same time. The fact that he does not make unnecessary additions to Bolywood-ise it makes it a strong contender to be placed in a pop Bhangra album.
Those who have seen the trailer would know that the film has a strong patriotic fervour to it. The jingoistic feel is brought out very well by Amaal, Kumaar and KK in “Tu Bhoola Jise”. The lyrics and the composition are simple but evocative nonetheless. The song builds up beautifully towards the finale in which KK sings ‘Vande Mataram’, leaving a lump in your throat. The track grows on you as you listen to it again and again. This one is going to make a huge impact on the screen.
Amaal Mallik seems to be going from strength to strength as he is belting out quality music consistently. Even Ankit Tiwari, who disappointed with his last few outings, delivers a good, foot-tapping number here. With names like Nikkhil Advani and Bhushan Kumar associated with the project, one knew that even an intense thriller like Airlift would carry a couple of tuneful songs. However, what one gets is more than one expected. All the five tracks in the album have the potential to become popular. That is definitely a big selling point for a slightly offbeat film like this.