Only a group of BTS’s stature could elevate the OST for a mobile game into an event release. The guys have been releasing collaboration tracks for the past few weeks for their new BTS World soundtrack, but none have clicked with me in the way their music usually does. Heartbeat, though, features no guest artist and is composed by much of the group’s usual team. It’s a smart way to inject another slower-paced track into their singles run, and a sonic sequel of sorts to their massive 2017 hit Spring Day.
The song opens with spacey, atmospheric synth that instantly conjures the kind of fantastical images found within the music video. The rest of the verse is moody without being dark — a slow burn before the chorus’s resounding percussion takes over to guide the rest of the track. The melody here feels a bit hesitant, but the guys’ performance has a satisfying build that makes the gradual climb worth it.
In fact, Heartbeat’s strongest asset is its sense of snowballing structure. This isn’t some big power-note ballad, but it doesn’t stay in one gear either. The instrumentation grows along with the track, led by that powerful synth-line but eventually incorporating cinematic, distorted guitar as well. The climax feels notable, if not quite as thrilling as a superior track like Mikrokosmos. For a group most closely associated with hip-hop sounds, BTS have a great vocal line for songs of this style. If nothing else, Heartbeat gives them a chance to release something that capitalizes on this and isn’t bending over backward to appeal to specific, trend-driven markets. It’s a solid, mainstream pop track, easily above average when it comes to your usual maudlin OST fare.