First things first - Zubaan has an enormous soundtrack. To have even seven tracks in a film is a rarity in the current times. On the other hand in Zubaan, there are as many as 14 tracks, an unheard of thing. Yes, the film is a musical, but one waits to see how these compositions by Ashu Phatak (with a couple of tracks by Manraj Patar and Ishq Bector & Shree D) make it to the film. A multitude of lyricists come together to lend their words.
It is a fantastic start for Zubaan as Rachel Varghese goes about singing 'Music Is My Art (Niamat Salaamat) '. An 80s style disco track that reminds of the Bappi Lahiri era, it is written by Varun Grover and Ashu Phatak. Rachel sings this Hinglish track quite well and has a voice that reminds one of Alisha Chenoy.
The title song comes next in the form of 'Dhruvtara (Dhoop Ki Zubaan) '. Boasting of some unconventional lyrics by Varun Grover which are in the poetic zone, this one has Keerthi Sagathia leading the charge with Rachel Varghese giving him company. The song's strength lies in the fact that it has quite some variations to it, and once it reaches the crescendo with the hook-line, it makes for a thumping hear.
Baba Bulleh Shah written 'Bhaven Tu Jaan' comes next and it actually turns out to be quite a sad hear, especially due to the manner in which Manraj Patar chooses to compose and sing this one. With a folk flavor to it, this one is almost an unplugged version with just a guitar in the background. Things only go further downhill with 'Kadi Aa Mil Yaar Pyareya' which is put together by the same team and the results are disappointing again.
Ishq Bector and Shree D come together to create 'Tu Hai Tera Khuda' with lyricist Varun Grover. The song stays on to be an unconventional zone and though the hook-line is still okay, there is quite some time spent in reaching till this point, by which time it is too late.
From this point on, it is Ashu Phatak all the way. Along with lyricists Surjit Patar & Varun Grover and singers Mandar Deshpande & Rachel Varghese, he puts together 'Kori Pukaar' and 'Ajj Saanu O Mileya'. Former is a sad rendition of a soft rock track and is strictly situational. Yes, it has been sung well but one doesn't see the song being played beyond the narrative of Zubaan. On the other hand 'Ajj Saanu O Mileya' has a super slow start to it and it is only two minutes into the song that there is some sort of rhythm that builds in. Thankfully, this point is truly striking in the song and helps you glued on to some degree at the least.
A series of traditional numbers are inserted into the soundtrack from here on. Though on a regular day this may have seemed like good news indeed, unfortunately this doesn't really turn out to be the case. Reason being that in Zubaan one would have rather wanted a few quality tracks that stay true to the protagonist's rise as a musician. However, what one instead gets to hear are as many as seven devotional tracks in a row. This isn't all as they last more than 30 odd minutes, hence making one wonder if they would all actually feature in the film's narrative too for their entire duration.
So we have Bhai Mahinder Jeet Singh coming up with 'Lakh Khushiyaan', 'Jo Mange Thakur' and 'Tu Mera Pita'. On the other hand Minu Bakshi goes about rendering 'Jiske Sir Upar Tu Swami' and 'Ek Onkar'. The finale takes place with the known track 'Mittar Pyare Nu' finding itself in as many as two versions where Mandar Deshpande is at the helm of one, followed by Saawan Jaryal coming up with a child version.
Zubaan starts off well but later gets trapped in repetitive sound. Furthermore, an overdose of traditional and devotional numbers means the soundtrack completely fizzles out even before reaching its end.
'Music Is My Art (Niamat Salaamat)', 'Dhruvtara (Dhoop Ki Zubaan)', 'Ajj Saanu O Mileya'