Charli XCX may have started out her career as an internet-beloved weirdo-pop auteur, and she may still stop back in to do that job from time to time. But Charli also has a rich history of making big, down-the-middle pop moves. After all, she opened a whole Taylor Swift stadium tour and sang the hook on Iggy Azalea’s #1 single “Fancy.” And right now, she’s definitely back in her mass-appeal zone. In just the past few weeks, Charli has teamed up with Lizzo on the single “Blame It On Your Love” and gotten together with Diplo and Herve Pagez to basically cover the Spice Girls. And now she’s taken a huge plunge, teaming up with three of the dreamboats from the world-conquering South Korean boy band BTS.
Like Halsey before her, Charli has now lent her voice to a BTS single. But while Halsey was essentially relegated to a cameo on “Boy With Luv,” the massive BTS crossover single, Charli gets equal billing on the new track “Dream Glow.” The track only features three of the seven members of BTS — Jin, Jimin, and Jungkook — but it’s still labeled as a BTS track, which is some peak late-’90s Wu-Tang shit. And it’s the first single from BTS World, a new video game that BTS will release later this months, which is also some peak late-’90s Wu-Tang shit.
“Dream Glow” is a propulsive, catchy dance-pop jam, and it’s less of a twisty, maximalist pop thrillride than what BTS usually do. It maintains a single groove and tone throughout, and it gives Charli plenty of chances to project personality all over it. Maybe the difference is that BTS didn’t work with K-pop producers on this one. Instead, they worked with StarGate, the hitmaking Norwegian duo who also produced massive hits like Beyoncé’s “Irreplaceable,” Rihanna’s “Only Girl (In The World),” and Katy Perry’s “Firework.” Check out “Dream Glow” below.
The BTS World mobile game is out 6/26.