For many years, Apink have released a special fan song on the anniversary of their debut. It’s to the group’s credit that these tracks have played around with a variety of genres. It would have been easy to churn out one sentimental ballad after another, but that hasn’t happened. The teaser for new single Everybody Ready hinted at a stadium rock sound, which would have been completely awesome. Sadly, the anthemic guitars are only a small flourish covering up a very middle-of-the-road song.
Everybody Ready is upbeat, I’ll give it that. In many ways, it sounds like the kind of song that would bring everyone together during the finale of some High School Musical-esque film. It’s relentlessly cheerful, powered by resounding handclaps and a brisk, energetic pace. Compared to the group’s more refined material of late, it comes across as a total throwback. The addition of brass during the chorus is a surprising shift away from the heavily electronic backdrops that have characterized Apink’s last two singles.
As generic as the song’s melody may be, I’d still take this over a sappy ballad. The toothless nature of the production requires the right frame of mind to fully enjoy, but I appreciate the rollicking tempo and celebratory vibe. As usual, the warmth of member Eunji’s tone stands out as a uniquely commanding presence, though all of the girls attack the track with full commitment. The descending bridge is particularly rousing, and would be a welcome addition to any live show. Confetti drops and pyrotechnics may as well be at the ready now.