Exploring Soundtracks: “Captain Marvel”


The soundtrack to “Captain Marvel” features a collection of ’90s gems that bring along with them a heavy helping of nostalgia.

Lately, we’ve been bouncing around quite a bit when it comes to the films we’ve been covering. Last week, we looked at the soundtrack to Sofia Coppola’s “Lost in Translation”. The week before that, we listened to the music from “Spider-Man: Far From Home”. Today, we’re back with another movie from the MCU.

After more than ten years of Marvel films, each one has proven more capable at bringing a soundtrack that captures the identity and spirit of their hero. Think about the classic rock and metal associated with Iron Man. Or Starlord’s Awesome Mix of ’70s and ’80s jams. Well, Marvel did it once again with the soundtrack to “Captain Marvel. Along with a collection of ’90s tunes, “Captain Marvel” also features an original score by Pinar Toprak aided in part by Michael Giacchino.

But before we get too far into the soundtrack itself, here’s a quick recap of the plot for those who either haven’t seen it, or just need a quick refresher.


Captain Marvel, AKA Vers, AKA Carol Danvers, is an extraterrestrial Kree warrior fighting in the middle of an intergalactic war between her people and the Skrull, a shape shifting species of alien. Through a series of events, she finds herself on the planet Earth, trying to track down a scientist the Skrull are after, one who she also mysteriously sees in her dreams. On Earth, she meets Agent Nick Fury, and begins trying to uncover the secrets of her locked past and harnessing her powers to bring the war with the Skrull to an end.

Captain Marvel

There are a lot of great musical moments to be found in “Captain Marvel”, and some that only appear for a few brief moments to punctuate a scene. Additionally, the attention to detail when it comes to the song selection is impressively accurate.

For example, in an early flashback scene, we see Carol Danvers as a young girl, reliving a memory of racing go karts. During it, Heart’s “Crazy On You” plays just for a few moments. Not only does this capture the energy of the scene, but it also tells us the year of the memory. “Crazy On You” was released in 1976, which would coincide with the age of Carol Danvers as she’s a fully grown woman in 1995.

One of the greatest and most iconic ’90s moments in “Captain Marvel” comes right after Carol Danvers is captured by the Kree she once trusted. When she is forced to confront the “supreme intelligence” once again in a virtual realm, Nirvana’s “Come As You Are” is playing on a random record player. While it’s only part of the lead-up to a somewhat underwhelming confrontation, it’s still a nice touch. If Nirvana doesn’t say ’90s, I don’t know what does.

Final Thoughts

While there’s a lot of ’90s songs to enjoy in “Captain Marvel”, the original score is also quite good. It includes your regular, run of the mill action movie compositions, but also brings out some great sci-fi sounds to match the setting. Lots of modulating synths that don’t sound out of place at all. It’s to Pinar Toprak’s credit that she could bring an original score that can so easily bounce between the two.

That about does it for our discussion today. I hope you enjoyed listening to the soundtrack to “Captain Marvel”. We’ll be back next week with another soundtrack to look at.

Track List

  1. “Crazy on You” by Heart
  2. “Kiss Me Deadly” by Lita Ford
  3. “Whatta Man” by Salt-N-Pepa
  4. “Connection” by Elastica
  5. “Only Happy When It Rains” by Garbage
  6. “Crush with Eyeliner” by R.E.M.
  7. “Waterfalls” by TLC
  8. “You Gotta Be” by Des’ree
  9. “It’s My Life” by Bon Jovi
  10. “Just a Girl” by No Doubt
  11. “Man on the Moon” by R.E.M.
  12. “Please Mr. Postman” by The Marvelettes (sung by Samuel L. Jackson)
  13. “Celebrity Skin” by Hole
  14. “Come As You Are” by Nirvana

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