The Village Voice splooges all over "9 Songs," in a dead-eyed, we’re not actually that interested in the film itself kind of way. Erotica writer Rachel Kramer Bussel rates the action, finding it realistic and private, for what that’s worth:
Yet, perhaps the very normalcy of the fucking, unadorned and often without context, is what the film has to offer. Or perhaps you could make a home video and achieve the same effect.
Jessica Winter takes a Wallace Stevens approach to the conjunction of porn and art, while Matthew Ross checks out Hamish McAlpine, the man behind "9 Songs" distributor Tartan Films, whose recent carefully (some might say distastefully) calculated purchases (Asian horror/exploitation and high profile, controversial sex) have made his company a force to be reckoned with in indie film:
The man behind Tartan is Hamish McAlpine, a Scotsman known as much for
his business acumen as his brash, dandyish persona (wearing white fur
to premieres, getting into fistfights with Larry Clark, etc.).
We love that "etc," like getting into a brawl with Larry Clark at a fancy restaurant is such a passÃ© thing to do these days. Of course, to really shock the film world you’d have to do something completely crazy and unheard-of, like, oh, picking up the US distro rights to a Hou Hsiao-Hsien movie.
At the LA Weekly, Ella Taylor finds herself unexpectedly liking "9 Songs":
I can imagine that many a viewer under 30 will see the movie as no more than an unusually faithful replica of what they themselves were doing last weekend. For middle-aged multitaskers sagging under the weight of routine and responsibility, 9 Songs may take them on a soulful, to say nothing of randy, journey back to a period in their lives when there was liberty, and time enough, to devote themselves to being nothing but creatures of desire. Sigh.