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Get in the Ragnarok Mindset With Mark Mothersbaugh's Energetic Thor Soundtrack

Image: Marvel Studios
Image: Marvel Studios

The soundtrack to Thor: Ragnarok has hit streaming sites a week before the release of the film, and it’s worth a listen. Time to get into a cosmic end-of-the-world state of mind.

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Composed by Mark Mothersbaugh, prolific soundtrack composer and lead singer of Devo, the Ragnarok score is intriguing. It’s, on the one hand, undeniably a superhero movie soundtrack, full of expertly crafted sweeping string arrangements and as much sonic drama as you can pack into an hour and 13 minutes. But it has more than that, too, a sort of wild, quirky energy roaming through the sounds.

When the music moves away from Asgardian terror, following the presumed turn of the film as Thor finds himself with the Hulk in exile, the music changes: synths build playful, nervous rhythms, Mothersbaugh’s John Williams impression gets a little bit disco, and the aural landscape opens up in an interesting way. This is definitely more fun than I’ve heard anyone have with a superhero movie soundtrack in a long time—maybe ever. It fits with the Jack Kirby vibe well. Both sweeping and strange.

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I don’t normally listen to film soundtracks before seeing the film in question, but this is an album worth listening to in its own right. It makes me feel ready to conquer the universe. Or at least go on a space road trip.

io9 Weekend Editor. Videogame writer at other places. Queer nerd girl.

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DISCUSSION

Just wanted to say Mark knows how to craft a soundtrack that evokes perfectly the atmosphere of the film it’s accompanying.

One of my favorites is the soundtrack for the film Rushmore. At times it’s whimsical and filled with dark and light overtones that feel concentric.