It’s been ages since I’ve written about anything BTS-related. Though the group’s name remains omnipresent, the members have taken a well-deserved break to recharge. But even before that, 2021 passed by without an official Korean comeback. Fans were treated to Japanese and English language hits instead. We’ll see what 2022 brings, but for now the OST release Stay Alive emerges as a welcome surprise.
This song pairs members Jungkook and Suga, the former on vocals and the latter on production duty. It’s recorded as an OST for webtoon 7FATES: CHAKHO and has been given a short music video. The full song is a minute longer, and fleshes out the melody you hear in the video. After a year of outsourced material and global collaborations, it’s nice to hear the guys move inward. With that said, Stay Alive is still bolstered by a veritable army of songwriters. It’s a miracle it feels as focused as it does.
Stay Alive fully understands the needs of this type of OST. I wouldn’t call it a ballad, though it’s not a particularly upbeat piece of music either. I think the word “atmosphere” is better suited to its charms. The melody is pretty, if a bit reserved. But, it’s buoyed by an instrumental that grows grander as the track goes on. Stay Alive never explodes into full bombast, but its fantasy-like tones give it symphonic swell that brings the drama. Jungkook’s vocal adds emotional weight to the arrangement. It’s lovely to hear his voice front and center again.