District 9

Clinton Shorter

" Look dad, it's a flying saucer "

Written by Thomas Glorieux - Review of the regular release

District 9 is one of these movies that captivates audiences through its original concept, pushed forward by a stunning visual design. Like Stardust two years ago, District 9 is a visual treat but with a strong, original and gripping story. To tell you much of the story would be like throwing the intriguing element away, but if you think you're getting a typical non moving science fiction film, think again. If you want a constant positive development in movies, packed with a story that grabs you by the throat, District 9 will surely become one of the movies of the year for you as well.

Unknown Canadian composer Clinton Shorter took the opportunity with his both hands (one alien hand not to mention) to create a score that works better on album than inside the picture itself. Mixed incredibly low behind the amazing sound design, District 9 is definitely a score that surprises you in its moments when you discover this on a "high demand CDR" pressed album by Sony.

Opening with a suite called "District 9", this killer track is a combination of ethnic vocals with pounding percussion and suspenseful rhythm. But whatever you think of that, think of it better and much more enjoyable. "I Want That Arm" basically continues this trend but gloomier, and the ethnic vocals return once more in "A Lot of Secrets", supported by a cool rhythmic pattern.

We can place the rest of the music under moodier sound design. The emotional distant "She Calls" perfectly captures the distant call Wikus has with his wife, as she doesn't want to leave him but has to admit she has to let him go. "Exosuit" recreates The Dark Knight and perfectly captures Zimmer's more interesting style from that score. The percussive feast of "Harvesting Material" is surely the least interesting cue of them all, alongside the aggressive "Wikus is Still Running"

The final cue ends the album like the movie in a light emotional way. In "Prawnkus" the vocal returns but much more subdued, like the character in the movie that finally accepts his fate. Sadly, some of the better elements of the score don't make it on this short release, but several treasure seekers might find an expanded CD that captures the essence of the score better.

District 9 begins extremely promising and ends rather disappointing, this also because several of the better tracks just didn't make it on the CDR edition that Sony published after the success of the film. This is sad because this affects the rating of an otherwise interesting score. The ethnic vocals are definitely an original and highly enjoyable move, but are not repeated enough to really elevate the album. The rest is appropriate tension music and moody sound design, that could have been aided by the assistance of a couple of great cues.


1. District 9 (6.30) Excellent track
2. I Want That Arm (2.14)
3. She Calls (1.37)
4. Exosuit (3.17)
5. Harvesting Material (1.47)
6. Heading Home (1.16)
7. A Lot of Secrets (2.29)
8. Back to D9 (1.47)
9. Wikus is Still Running (2.58)
10. Got Him Talking (2.07)
11. Prawnkus (4.01)

Total Length: 29.45
(click to rate this score)  
(total of 15 votes - average 3.3/5)

Released by

Sony Music CDR (regular release 2009)

Conducted by

Adam Klemens

Orchestrations by

Aiko Fukushima & Jeff Toyne