Written by Zach Crowell, Ashley Gorley, and Carrie Underwood
“Heartbeat” has been stuck in my head for days, which isn’t surprising, really. It has a solid hook that Underwood delivers with charm and sincerity, two qualities that I always find abundant in her work.
It’s a beautiful song, too. Romantic, heartfelt, and chock full of the specific details that make a song with a well-tread theme sound fresh and interesting.
Unfortunately, the song and Underwood’s performance of it are let down by contradictory production choices. I don’t mind a pop production, and Underwood has the vocal chops to still sound clear and in control, even with a busy backdrop.
But the drum machine and processed instrumentation go directly against the message of the lyric, which is about leaving the noise and technology of modern city life behind. “Heartbeat’ is about journeying so deep into nature that you can’t even pick up a radio signal, with lighting courtesy of the firefly glow and choirs of crickets providing the only instrumentation.
There’s an acoustic version on the deluxe edition of Storyteller that puts the song in the appropriate musical setting and it’s gorgeous. Seek it out.