Wade Wilson’s Deadpool enjoying funky, ‘80s pop beats and wacky synth music doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Junkie XL, aka Tom Holkenborg, composed Deadpool’s soundtrack, and he always kept in mind Wade’s overtly cynical cheer when making creative decisions.

“They had a really hard time finding temp music that actually worked for the character,” Holkenborg said. “So I started experimenting in the studio. It turned out to be ‘Miami Vice’ meets Frankie Goes to Hollywood on acid. When ‘Miami Vice’ came out, it felt cool and exciting and fresh. Now when we look back it’s almost like a comedy. Deadpool is goofy and doesn’t take himself seriously. The music had to be fun but not funny.”

In other words, the music in Deadpool had to be able to jump from one extreme to the other as quickly as its titular Merc with a Mouth. A fun pop song couldn’t be too bubblegum, otherwise a shift into something like “X Gon’ Give It to Ya” by DMX would feel jarring. Somehow, George Michael’s “Careless Whisper” ends up going perfectly with DMX’s far more aggressive feel, and it’s that kind of weird, unexpected pairing that takes the Deadpool soundtrack the extra mile.

Same goes for the tracks actually composed by Holkenborg. “Maximum Effort” is the most alarming, fun kind of drug trip that’s part 8-bit video game music and part wicked synth effects. “Twelve Bullets” is all ‘80s flair: pop beats mixed with inklings of grunge rock. These mixes shouldn’t work. Yet, somehow, they do.

Alas, Holkenborg decided not to score the movie’s sequel, making an announcement on his official Facebook page back in November, saying:

Since it was revealed that Deadpool’s brilliant creative director Tim Miller will not be involved in the project anymore, I have undertaken some soul searching. Tim was the driving force behind Deadpool and me getting involved in this amazing project. Deadpool without Tim at the helm just does not sit right with me and that is why I have decided not to be involved in the second chapter.

Holkenborg went on to say that leaving Deadpool 2 behind was a difficult decision and that “it’s hard to walk away from something so unique, but it also has to feel right.”

Whether Holkenborg’s departure indicates that there will be a drastic change in Deadpool 2’s sound is yet to be determined. As of right now, no official announcement has been made about who might replace him. Wade himself would probably volunteer, but last thing he needs is creative control.

Photos via Virtual Crunch