I kept telling people that I was excited at the notion of composer Mark Mothersbaugh doing the music for Thor: Ragnarok because he did all the music I loved from Wes Anderson’s movies.
What I COMPLETELY forgot to also say is that he was also the founder and a main creative force for the band Devo. The track above is called “Grandmaster Jam Session” and it plays during the end credits. Between the twangy tempo, the esperanto muppet giberish and the demo-button-on-an-old-Casio-keyboard beats, it’s just about everything you could hope it would be.
But beyond all of that, Mothersbaugh’s involvment is a significant development for Marvel Studios, who have been called out before for the underwhelming scored music in their movies. In fact, Motherbaugh acknowledged that his score was in part a response to a viral video essay on Marvel Studios’ forgettable scores.
Other exemplary synth tracks on the album include “What Heroes Do” and “Planet Sakaar,” but Mothersbaugh also puts together more traditional themes that run through the Asgard portions of the film. He even goes for bonus points by sampling in a little of Patrick Doyle’s theme from the first Thor movie in the track “Where To.”
This is nice of Mothersbaugh because it retroactively lends a little more narrative weight to that initial (and initally underwhelming) Thor score. An acknowledgement of the musical past of the Marvel movies and how it, when filtered through the funkier stylings of someone like Mothersbaugh, will inform new course forward.
Where to, indeed.