District 9


Pro: Good, emotive, and diverse
Con: Don't really have anything.

The Bottom Line: Africa meets science fiction. It's a pretty good reflection of that.

Clinton Shorter does a soundtracks for…I guess you could say interesting movies. But the interesting thing is that despite his skill, you don't see him that often at all. Pop over to Amazon and you'll see this one, 2 Guns, and Pompeii. He doesn't even have a page in the world of Wikipedia, which is interesting. Apparently the rest of his composing skills are going toward TV work. Maybe that's what he likes. Who knows?

What I do know is that this is a great CD with a lot going on. There's clearly the South African flavor happening, from the vocalist to some of the style, blended with science fiction power. The entire CD is rather short – only about 30 minutes or so – and with only 11 tracks. Makes sense given the design of the movie.

1. District 9 (6:28) – Opens with a sad lament; a single vocalist introduces us to the squalor and despair that exists in the world of District 9. It also introduces you to some of the theme that winds its way around with strings. It switches up a few times so that you might think it's a different track, but no, you're still in the same one.

2. I Want That Arm (2:13) – This is where the drums come in, things speed up a bit, and it's time to worry.

3. She Calls (1:35) – Slow, sad, and yet somehow still just a tiny bit hopeful here and there. But near the end things get dark.

4. Exosuit (3:15) – Opening up with speedy drums, it then slows down, taking a moment to breathe and bringing the vocalist back in before kicking back up into dramatic overdrive and bringing in the horns alongside the tense strings and hammering percussion.

5. Harvesting Material (1:45) – A steady drumming march from start to finish.

6. Heading Home (1:14) – Remember that theme we heard in the first track? It's back. Slowly working its way to something greater.

7. A Lot of Secrets (2:27) – Back to our vocalist, and things don’t sound so great for anyone in the storyline.

8. Back to D9 (1:45) – Another piece of slow lament that drifts along.

9. Wikus is Still Running (2:57) – And he runs to the sound of numerous drums and various percussion instruments that shake, rattle, clank, and thump right along.

10. Get Him talking (2:05) – Taking its time with some strings, a pinch of percussion here and there, it winds up to a sudden end.

11. Prawnkus (4:00) – A sad end for such a tale, with strummed strings and lingering notes, finally finishing with our vocalist.

Though short, it's an enjoyable soundtrack that you can put on in the background if you like, or listen to specifically. It's not too often that you get this sort of combination of sounds, and it works out quite nicely. Though many of the soundtracks are along the lines of less-than-happy, if you're not paying too much attention it's easy to just let it slip through your ears while you do whatever else you might be doing at that moment.

I feel like there's not much else to say, really. It's the kind of soundtrack that you might want to sample a bit before going all in to see if you like it. It isn't for everyone. Obviously it was good enough that I want more Clinton Shorter music, but I guess big box office work isn't his style so there isn't much to choose from. I'll give Pompeii a try, though.

NT

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I am an author, I sell books for a living, and I love music like there's no tomorrow. I've experienced much of this country, from forested hills of the East, to the golden plains of the Midwest, the sandy beaches of the Southeast, and the oh-so-majestic mountains of the Rockies. And when all else fails, eat chocolate.