Every Song on the Captain Marvel Soundtrack, Ranked by Their Role in the Film
Captain Marvel has turned out to be everything we hoped and more.
Carol Danvers became our favorite new hero, we finally found out how Nick Fury lost his eye and Goose the cat purred his way into our hearts. But we've also spent way too much time thinking about the film's soundtrack and how good all of the songs are, even if some of them fit oddly into the movie itself.
That's why we ranked every song in the movie, based on their importance within Captain Marvel itself. And if you haven't seen the movie yet, be warned that there are some scene-related spoilers ahead!
11. 'Celebrity Skin' by Hole
While Hole's "Celebrity Skin" has a raw rock sound that befits the closing credits of a superhero movie, we don't think it's the best fit for Captain Marvel and her journey. The song is about a rejection of celebrity status, which feels like the polar opposite of everything Carol Danvers has just gone through. It might sound good, but it's not all that uplifting—and maybe we're just sticklers for this kind of thing, but since the song released in 1998 and the movie takes place in 1995, there's no way Carol could have even heard it.
10. 'Waterfalls' by TLC
TLC's "Waterfalls" is simultaneously powerful and quintessentially '90s, but we don't think its placement in Captain Marvel gives it the respect it deserves. It's a heavy song that tackles the deep subject of young people getting their lives cut short, so the fact that it's relegated to quick background music as Fury and Carol drive through the desert does it a disservice. It's about tragedy, and it might have fit the story better at an emotional low point. Regardless, the R&B track is worth a listen.
9. 'Whatta Man' by Salt-N-Pepa
"Whatta Man" is a ton of fun, but like a couple of other songs on the Captain Marvel soundtrack, it feels like it was included for being a '90s hit by a girl group rather than because it ties well into the movie. Ironically, the song plays from the car radio of an inept security guard when Carol first arrives on earth. Maybe it would've been a bit on-the-nose to play the song with an actual "mighty good man" onscreen, but we probably would've enjoyed it more.
8. 'Connection' by Elastica
There's something wonderful about how the mechanical intro to Elastica's "Connection" is reminiscent of the sounds of a dial-up modem, the painfully slow method people had to use to connect to the internet in the '90s. The music plays as Carol Danvers visits an internet café in search of some answers, and then again with boosted volume after she steals a motorcycle. The lyrics about love being a gamble aren't directly connected (no pun intended) to the situation, but it works well with the scene.
7. 'Man on the Moon' by R.E.M.
We don't want to spoil too much about how this song fits into the scheme of things, but the "Man on the Moon" title is appropriate to the scene giving Carol Danver's spacefaring adventure. The song plays quietly on a radio in the background during this quiet scene of resolution, so even though most of the lyrics are about comedian Andy Kaufman, it just feels right.
6. 'Only Happy When It Rains' by Garbage
"Only Happy When It Rains" may have some pretty dark lyrics, but it might be more about embracing the moody grunge aesthetic of the '90s than it is about misery. The song plays briefly after Carol has stolen a new outfit (featuring a Nine Inch Nails tee and a flannel shirt around her waist) and a motorcycle, so we think the comparison is apt. In a way, the song is also about appreciating even the not-so-fun things that make you human, which feels exactly right for Carol's arc.
5. 'Kiss Me Deadly' by Lita Ford
We may only hear a single line from "Kiss Me Deadly" in the movie, but that one line speaks volumes. When an amnesiac Carol returns to her favorite hangout on earth, she flashes back to singing karaoke to the track with her best friend, Maria. Though it's over in an instant, the song choice gives us so much insight into who they are. It's a feisty '80s love song about that special person in your life who can make your day no matter what bad things you've been through. It's full of fight, and we think it works just as well for a platonic relationship as a romantic one.
4. 'Crazy on You' by Heart
The flashback tracks in Captain Marvel are some of the best because they're all about revealing character. Heart's 1978 classic "Crazy on You" plays during a scene in which Carol remembers driving a go-kart as a little girl and spinning out of control after being urged by the boys in her life to slow down. Though it's a love song, we think going crazy on someone can also be about defiance and doing what they don't expect to be true to yourself, and that's certainly a message we can get behind.
3. 'Come As You Are' by Nirvana
We're treading on spoiler territory again with this one, but "Come as You Are" plays during a pivotal scene when it seems like all hope is lost for our heroes. Only when Carol decides to truly "come as she is" can her potential be unlocked, and it's a sight to behold. Memory also plays an important role in who she decides to be, making the lyrics feel almost tailor-made to the situation.
2. 'You Gotta Be' by Des'ree
"You Gotta Be" might as well be Captain Marvel's theme song. Every lyric is bold and empowering, and the sound makes being your best self seem so effortless while still being flawless at the same time. We also love that it's the song used to reintroduce Maria, since she's every bit as tough and brilliant as Carol. It would undoubtedly be No. 1 if the next song's placement weren't sheer perfection.
1. 'Just a Girl' by No Doubt
We have to admit we wanted Captain Marvel to be a series of back-to-back fight scenes perfectly choreographed to '90s tunes, and while we didn't get that, the use of "Just a Girl" more than made up for it. The chunky guitar music feels perfect as it's timed with punches are proton blasts as the lyrics describe the constraints of being a girl in a man's world, defying even restraint that's been placed on her. Carol has had it up to here, and she's going to take down any baddie who stands in her way.
If you're Carol Danvers-obsessed, click HERE for Captain Marvel memes that perfectly reflect our hype for the movie.