Netflix’s Bridgerton may be considered as a period piece, but the series’ take on cleverly integrating modern pop culture influences is a unique feat that not many shows could adapt so seamlessly.

Throughout the show’s first three seasons, audiences have found themselves involved in the love lives of the Bridgerton siblings, beginning with oldest daughter Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor), oldest brother Anthony (Jonathan Bailey), and the middle child Colin (Luke Newton). Through their unique experiences of falling in love and fair share of scandals, it’s a refreshing take on the prim and proper decorum that we’ve come to expect of the genre so far.

As we follow their journey with their respective love interests, a major component that drives their stories forward is the integral use of music as an unspoken tool that weaves the bond between characters even closer than ever. Within the escapist themes of its setting, showrunner Chris Van Dusen, producer Shonda Rhimes, and score composer Kris Bowers get to play around with varying musical choices to produce classical covers of contemporary pop songs.

It’s a bold choice that has allowed viewers to find themselves enamored with the music, given that it stands as more than just background noise. These tracks have become purposeful vehicles that drive both the narrative and its emotions forward –– whether it’s meant to evoke the steamy romance, palpable tension, mystery, and intrigue, or the ‘kilig’ factor that audiences have begun to love from the hit Netflix series. 

In this list, Billboard Philippines lists down our curated picks for the best music featured within Netflix’s Bridgerton universe –– encompassing the show’s prolific discography of classical covers and original themes that add that unique sense of dynamism to every scene and song featured on the small screen.

Sign Of The Times (Stripped) – Steve Horner

Harry Styles’s debut single as a solo artist is quite the phenomenal track on its own, but Steve Horner’s orchestral rendition of “Sign of the Times” not only brought forth new life to the song –– but it added a heightened sense of drama and urgency to a pivotal scene from Bridgerton’s second season. 

As it played during the [intended] wedding of Anthony Bridgerton and Edwina Sharma (Charithra Chandran), hearing the string quartet’s rendition of the track brought forth a melancholic nature to what was about to occur –– given that Anthony was in love with Edwina’s sister, Kate (Simone Ashley). The riveting strings in the latter half of the track further add to the magnitude of the sequence, even encouraging viewers to get up from their seats to scream at their televisions saying; “Stop the wedding!”

Halo – Caleb and Brian Chan

Beyoncé’s “Halo” is a ballad that talks about a sublime love unlike any other –– which perfectly matches the story between Queen Charlotte (India Amarteifio) and King George III (Corey Mylchreest). Caleb and Brian Chan’s emotive performances to their cover of the beloved love song add an entirely new meaning to the song, eliciting an abundance of warm feelings as the sweeping strings hit their pinnacle point.

Utilized during the final moments of the first installment to the spin-off prequel Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story, it caps off the episode on an insanely high note –– serving as the perfect accompaniment to Amarteifiop and Mylchreest’s electrifying on-screen chemistry following the wedding of their characters. It’s as sweet as it is catchy, and could fit perfectly into anyone’s real-life matrimonial festivities should they decide to add the track to their wedding playlists.

Abcdefu – Vitula

As Season 3 of the hit period program hit the streamers last weekend, one of the most notable uses of music came from Penelope Featherington’s (Nicola Coughlan) grand makeover reveal at Lady Danbury’s (Adjoa Andoh) first ball of the season. Using Gayle’s viral hit song as the character’s big and literal “screw you” moment to all her bullies in the high society crowd was a pitch-perfect choice that served the story –– while also sounding quite incredible and dramatic in its orchestra rendition.

By the time the track reaches its climactic point, it perfectly aligns with Colin Bridgerton’s reaction to seeing Penelope descend on the grand staircase –– with a face that showcases both awe and admiration for the latter’s impactful entrance in the event of the season.

You Oughta Know – Duomo

Alanis Morissette’s iconic alt-rock anthem “You Oughta Know” made its debut in the Bridgerton universe during the fifth episode of season two, and it perfectly captured the angst and built-up resentment that the characters of Anthony Bridgerton and Kate Sharma (Simone Ashley) felt before the former’s impending marriage to Kate’s sister. 

As stirring as it could get, the heartbreak of Morissette’s compositions is in fact, even more expressive in its orchestral form –– especially when paired with a dramatic montage of Bailey and Ashley contemplating the future of their relationship, backed with a voiceover that states; “Duty to rank and title. Fidelity to one’s family name. It demands both utter obedience and total sacrifice,” Lady Whistledown says as the song plays. “But what happens when such duty is in conflict with the heart’s true desire? Why, then, there is the potential for a considerable scandal, indeed. The only question is will the parties in question heed my warning? Or is it already too late to turn back to duty and away from desire?”

Simon and Lady Danbury – Kris Bowers

Unlike the orchestral covers on this list, Kris Bowers’ original compositions for the show are unique in their own right –– yet none of them exemplify the romantic excitement as much as Bowers’ “Simon and Lady Danbury” theme. There’s a palpable heart to the track’s escalating notes, building upon the moment that Simon Basset (Rege Jean-Page) and Daphne Bridgerton first felt a genuine spark during a shared dance in season 1. 

In fact, the track itself is sweeping enough to make anyone swoon –– to the point that it was adopted as the main title theme of the series as seen in seasons two and three. Upon the latter half of the track, it also captures enough of the whimsical nature of the comedic aspects of the series, especially with its secondary main characters such as Lady Danbury and the rest of the Bridgerton family (who later come into their own as individual characters).

Cheap Thrills – Vitamin String Quartet

Who knew that Sia’s hit single “Cheap Thrills” would sound so exciting in the orchestral format? With the track being used in Season 3’s third episode, it’s an apt choice to fit the heightened tension and emotions felt by the characters Penelope Featherington and Colin Bridgerton following a sensational life-or-death moment that occurred just a few minutes before. 

As we prepare to see our beloved characters head in towards another ball of the season, it also captures the electric moment wherein Violet Bridgerton (Ruth Gummell) and Lord Marcus Anderson (Daniel Francis) establish their meet-cute moment that is set to pay off further later in the season.

Bad Guy – Vitamin String Quartet

Perhaps the most recognizable orchestral adaptation of this list, the Vitamin String Quartet’s rendition of Billie Eilish’s 2019 hit single “Bad Guy” marked an impressive turning point for the series — showing that the showrunners and music supervisors were not messing around with integrating present-day culture into a period-piece show.

Utilized in Episode 3 of Season 1, it takes its title to heart, given that it was featured in the scene wherein Simon Basset pretends to act out in the middle of a ball when Daphne Bridgerton is asked by another man to dance. Cleverly incorporating its lyrical themes into the sequence, it also serves as a refreshing take on the Record and Song of the Year Grammy Award-winning track.

Give Me Everything (Stripped) – Archer Marsh

Upon its initial announcement, seeing Pitbull’s club anthem as part of the tracks announced prior to the release of Bridgerton Season 3 baffled thousands of fans and listeners –– so who knew just how surprising it turned out to be that it became one of the most meaningful needle drops of the series? 

Amidst the prim and proper demands of society, the track is an immediate breath of fresh air that captures both the passion and palpable chemistry between Penelope Featherington and Colin Bridgerton, as they give in to one another’s desires and emotions for a steamy sequence at the back of a moving horse carriage. It’s the perfect ending to the first part of season 3 –– edging both its viewers and listeners as they experience this song on an entirely new level. 

Dancing On My Own – Vitamin String Quartet

No other romantic tropes work quite as well for fans as that of ‘enemies to lovers’, so witnessing the moment that Anthony Bridgerton and Kate Sharma begin to soften up to one another in their first shared dance from Episode 4 of Season 2. Backed by the Vitamin String Quartet’s orchestral rendition of Robyn’s “Dancing On My Own”, the moment is intensified further by allowing the tension to rise –– even dissolving the cold exterior of both characters.

With their intimacy, the track allows their love story to blossom right in front of our very own eyes, setting the tone for what was to come from the rest of their story. It’s arguably the best needle drop from the second season of the series, one that balances both the magic and romantic aspects of the fantastical love story that period pieces like Bridgerton bring forth to their audiences. 

Wildest Dreams – Duomo

Duomo’s classical cover of Taylor Swift’s “Wildest Dreams” is no doubt the most popular needle drop from Netflix’s Bridgerton. Aside from readapting one of Taylor Swift’s most iconic love songs, the raw emotions and heartfelt nature of this orchestral piece are perfectly assimilated within the fifth episode of Season 1 of the show –– which was incorporated into a three-minute montage of Simon Basset and Daphne Bridgerton’s consummation of their love.

As the most explicit and intimate aspects of the show released so far, it also perfectly relates to Swift’s lyrical themes of a doomed, if imperfect, love story that perfectly sums up the relationship between the two characters. It’s bittersweet, inspiring, and romantically exciting all at once –– with the track finding life beyond the confines of the series, even being used in several reels and montages of couples from all around the world as they share their love story.