Music composed by Clinton Shorter
Label: Sony
Catalog: No label number

Year: 2009

1. District 9
2. I Want That Arm
3. She Calls
4. Exosuit
5. Harvesting Material
6. Heading Home
7. A Lot of Secrets
8. Back to D9
9. Wikus Is Still Running
10. Got Him Talking
11. Prawnkus

Total Time: 29:45

Reviewed by
Tom Hoover

If you've been even half familiar about the developments of the late 2009 summer movie season, then you are by no doubt aware that District 9 made one of the bigger impacts with audiences. The score by Clinton Shorter has deservedly been given a release on iTunes, which is where you can buy it for 8 bucks. The reason it's available at such a low price is due to the fact that there is roughly 30 minutes of music on the soundtrack. In this case, however, it's all about quality. Not quantity.

I enjoyed the film, District 9, though I felt it fell short from achieving greatness, which to be fair, is an unfair expectation of any movie. Hype machine or not. Instead, it's a smart, entertaining bit of cinema that should be rated above average as far as science fiction movies are concerned... especially when compared to the current crop of today's offerings. Indeed, director Neill Blomkamp deserves his fair share of accolades for it. And so does composer Clinton Shorter.

When I viewed D9 in the theater, I did notice that Shorter's score asserted itself quite well within the fabric of the picture. The music was skillfully placed and played at just the right levels, particularly during some of the louder action sequences. However, it wasn't until I listened to it apart from the movie that I realized just how exceptional a score it was. Minimal running time or not, this one is a rewarding soundtrack to listen to.

This score has personality. It also has a very good pace to it. Leveraging beautiful, African-inspired vocals, Shorter's music plays as a melodic, action driven score that has its fair share of dramatic motifs to keep you connected to the characters. With that, It's important to note that none of these elements felt contrived or forced; you can simply let the music play and enjoy the ride. And when this ride reached its end for me, I can say that I was quite satisfied by what I heard. Standouts for me include the aforementioned vocals and Shorter's use of percussion, each of which are a perfect fit for a sci-fi drama set in South Africa!

Don't let the running time of this disc scare you off. It honestly didn't feel short. In fact, this soundtrack played like a highlight reel or compilation album; there is something to take a liking to from every one of the 11 tracks. Bring on District 10!