One is pretty much aware of the fact that Dhobi Ghat is a song-less film with not even a theme track in it that comprises of any spoken words. Add to that the fact that it doesn't have any Indian composer at the helm of affairs and instead features international composer Gustavo Santaolalla means that Dhobi Ghat would indeed boast of an unusual soundtrack. This also means that while the film itself has been made for niche audience, the music would have an even lesser market hence raising doubts around its commercial viability and the very logic behind releasing it commercially.
Number of times one hears the statement that music of so and so film needs to be felt rather than heard. While in most of the cases a statement like this is made just to make any impression without any real meaning or intent behind it, there are exceptions when the makers actually manage to crack that. This is exactly the case in Dhobi Ghat where music is just an accompanying partner along with the characters, doesn't intrude with the proceedings, truly stays in the background (to go with the spirit of 'background score') and most importantly manages a consistent feel right through the narrative without any major highs or lows.