Song Review: Everglow – Pirate

Everglow - Pirate
At times, Everglow have been a frustrating prospect. I mean, you can’t release a track as awesome as La Di Da and never return to that sound! Too often, their title tracks have borrowed some of my least favorite elements from K-pop’s boy groups. And listening to previews for new single Pirate, I assumed the song would be all bluster. I’m a staunch advocate for silly weirdness in K-pop, but feared this track would rely too heavily on its cartoonish catchphrase.

I’m very happy to be proven wrong. Pirate is a bizarre little delight, melding together so many of Everglow’s sounds with a boisterous EDM beat reminiscent of older girl groups like T-ara and 2NE1. I’m still not sure I buy the pirate theme as it relates to self-empowerment (do girls really want to be pirates? Does anyone??), and that repeated line is stupidly silly. But, Everglow embrace the madness and make it easy for listeners to do so as well. It helps that Pirate’s teasers ended up being quite misleading. They hid the song’s fantastic chorus, which pulses with pop drama over a rumbling club beat. This refrain is echoed by the synth line, which employs a brighter sound than I’d expected. These elements make Pirate feel more “fun” than “self-serious,” and that distinction is so important.

You wouldn’t know any of this from Pirate’s first thirty seconds. The song takes a bit to get going, but once the melody starts to climb it never looks back. Its disparate pieces fit together surprisingly well, driven by Everglow’s effortless charisma. I have no idea how Pirate will age, but for now this is my kind of K-pop crazy.

 Hooks 9
 Production 9
 Longevity 8
 Bias 9
 RATING 8.75

56 thoughts on “Song Review: Everglow – Pirate

  1. This is my favourite song of 2021, hands down. It’s not even close. Sorry ‘Atlantis’ !!!!

    For the past 2.5 years, I’ve longed for a song that would capture my heart the way ‘Miroh’ by Stray Kids did. I’ve praised that song plenty, and I mean every word I’ve said.

    But ‘Pirate’ is a different breed.

    The instant I heard the aggressive side-chained synth bass, I knew this song would be something special. The teasers hinted at some nice synth plucks that would complement the bass, but left out the best part of the song for the full release.

    0:51 is that moment.

    Holy shit man. The progression of this instrumental is euphoric and super nostalgic – taking me back to the early 2010 days of Avicii, Zedd, and David Guetta. I’m still unsure what song I’m reminded of [perhaps ‘Don’t You Worry Child’ – Swedish House Mafia], but I couldn’t care less tbh. ‘Everglow’ add a beautiful melody on top of the already amazing progression, leaving me almost paralysed on first listen.

    Let’s not forget this music video too. I’m all for the futuristic aesthetic, it’s totally my thing.

    To top it off, the producers blend the aggressive bass and the instrumentation of the pre-chorus [I assume], ending on an absolute high. It’s full of emotion, nostalgia, and power. This is peak K-Pop IMO. I couldn’t ask for anything more.


    Hooks – 10
    Production – 10
    Longevity – 10
    Bias – 10

    Rating: 10/10

    Yes, I’m being dramatic but this is 2.5 years in the making, I’ll enjoy the moment how I please LOL.

    Liked by 16 people

  2. This is one of my favorite songs released this year! Also, Don’t Speak, the b-side on the ep is really solid!

    I’m happy Everglow came back, this song sounds so addictive and it fits them so well! Props to Sihyeon and her vocals! The pre-chorus was divine.

    Liked by 6 people

  3. the title of their ep is fitting! it’s not just the return of any random girl but THE girl. there is only ONE of the girl that constantly pulls off this genre of music effortlessly.

    besides that, it would be outright offensive to not talk about how awesome the b-side don’t speak is. not taking into the consideration the bridge where the energy kinda derails a tiny bit, don’t speak is easily one of everglow’s best retro-influenced offerings!

    if i were to imagine an alternative title track run for everglow it would be this:
    la di da -> don’t ask don’t tell -> promise -> don’t speak
    i would actually have an aneurysm if that happened holy shit


  4. Agree on this as well. My first listen left me a bit confused but intrigued but by 2nd listen I was sold on the song and it’s weirdness. Great effort from Everglow. The EP is pretty solid as well.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. I similarly was pleasantly surprised this morning. The teasers made me upset “they’re following up a bland girl crush song with more girl crush and pirates?”
    But it’s such a blast of fun and it does feel like Everglow is arriving at a defined style.
    All the members have stand-out parts and fully commit to the bombast. The energy is the kind many k-pop fans, myself included, crave.

    I like the pirate bit, personally. on my fourth listen, I suspected that this is what Nick will probably knock a little for…but I love how they tease it in the first verse and slam it down in the chorus.

    I was drawn into Everglow with Dun dun because they were really screaming on that track and then La di da brought out a new side. Hearing them come together in Pirate is super fun.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. The chorus was such a pleasant surprise. After the somewhat misleading teasers, the actual song threw everything down the gauntlet. That unrelenting beat was absolutely cool and the song’s climax just ended it on a high.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. I was so glad to be proven wrong! Those teasers really gave me low expectations, and the first part of the song didn’t really dispel them. But then that pre-chorus? chorus? (I still think it’s a pre-chorus with the “I’m a pirate, yeah yeah” thing as the chorus, but it’s confusing) came in and wew, what a moment. I loved the early 2010s EDM instrumental there, and paired with the melody, it just sounded amazing. And after that, I was completely sold on the rest of the song. Even the “I’m a pirate, yeah, yeah” part sounded right, slamming in after. And the final chorus, where the pre-chorus segment gets re-worked into a chorus, combined with the “I’m a pirate” part, what a way to end the song! This is the kind of banger I love, crazy and interesting and fun.

    Liked by 7 people

  8. Coincidentally, just this morning on my feed from a certain youtuber is a video entitled “Making stupid loops out of words you give me”. ‘

    I keed, I keed … … Ok but seriously, really, its like they picked the theme (“I know! Pirates! Pirate Hip Hop Girl Crush! Look at me, I am a Pirate, yeah!”) and built a song around it. Ateez did so well with everyone’s favorite pirate hip hop sea shanty, I am surprised it took two years to steal the concept.

    Beyond the theme which the girls sell the shit out of, the rest of it is by-the-book girl crush contemporary pop song. Cause I’m a pirate, yeah, pirate, yeah, let me introduce myself, girls all over the world, we can be anything anything. (the real lyrics, not a parody.)

    Its works out well, but isn’t my style. Also, I will say it again: the girls sell the shit out of this song. If this isn’t a hit, it isn’t because they aren’t trying hard enough.

    The follow up question is why Dreamcatcher didn’t think of pivoting to pirate theme, because it would be a natural for them as steam punk is still underused in kpop. That is the song I am waiting for, Dreamcatcher steam punk Jules Verne submarine rock girlz kpop. It’s like they are under the water.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I am here for pirate steampunk Dreamcatcher and if they do anything else on their next comeback it’s going to be really hard not to be disappointed.

      Liked by 4 people

  9. this makes no sense i am so confused and i love every second!! space pirates! girl power! i will gladly get on board!! girls all over the world!!!

    i love the song and this music video is everything i could ever want from a kpop group thank u everglow

    Liked by 4 people

  10. I. Love. This. Song. It’s reminiscent of some excellent songs like Girls Aloud’s Something New, totally weird EDM banger with a great chorus and verses that have these dirty club beats. This to me is the best of both worlds combo of Adios and LaDiDa.

    Liked by 6 people

  11. I was trying to think of how to enunciate why I like this so much more than other girl crush songs this past year (including “First”) and all I could come up with is how great that big, thumpy beat is – knowing it’s coming makes the first part of the song more interesting and keeps the points where the beat drops – but importantly, the tempo doesn’t change (yes, I have listened to today’s other big release) – from dragging the song down. It reminds me a bit of Afterschool’s “Bang!”, which I accidentally downloaded in Japanese a couple of years ago when I was first getting into k-pop and couldn’t distinguish between Japanese and Korean so that the Korean version sounds weird now.

    Liked by 4 people

    • In case I haven’t fangirled about Billlie enough over the last month, I like this for a lot of the same reasons I like “Ring X Ring” – it’s weird and brash and bold and no matter how loud the music is when I turn it on I still want to turn the volume up. “Pirate” is going to sound great in the car, and since December is the official TBL musical new year, what a great way to start 2022!

      Liked by 4 people

  12. What a good surprise this song turned out to be! the teasers almost made me write this comeback off but I’m so glad I checked it out.
    The “I’m a pirate” line takes getting used to, luckily the girls sell it. I also tried to figure out the pirate theme in the context of the lyrics and what came straight to my mind were the lyrics of this Eurodance hit from my childhood:
    “Soldiers and dolls won’t give away my childhood dreams
    I was a pirate, I conquered, and I sailed free.”
    Gala – Let a Boy Cry

    Liked by 1 person

  13. this mini honestly left me speechless i loved every track and before listening i was expecting to maybe add 1 or 2 b sides. the proudction was insanely good i wonder how much money they spent at this
    nighty night best b side imo but others are also very good so good amazing spectacular amazing and so good

    Liked by 2 people

  14. I am a pirate, yuh, yuh. And I want that monocle. THIS is what i always wanted Blackpink to sound like. Also, I need Ateez and them to team up at Mamas or some deal.

    Liked by 4 people

  15. Something about it definitely reminded me of “I love you” by 2ne1. I like how satisfying the final chorus is;it’s like I really went on a voyage lol


  16. I guess I’m a lone wolf since I didn’t like this lmfao. and im surprised nick likes it???
    I will say there are parts i LOVE… i LOVE the ending, and the girls all over the world and that kinda 2000-esque pop sound with the synth like 2NE1 sound… im in love with that.
    but i just am not a fan of talk/chant choruses… lmfao i didnt like the the pirate chorus. i rly like the pre-chorus. i wish the chorus was more melodic tbh. maybe i’ll like it after more listens, i rly like everglow after all lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I’m struggling to organize my thoughts on this comeback, likely due to this video being complete sensory overload.

    I feel mixed. On one hand, there’s a lot I like, and a lot I don’t. I have so much to say about this, and yet so little. I say that because this falls into a category of kpop that presses my buttons in all the wrong ways. That being: “songs that sound completely empty and hollow until the bridge, when they accidentally/intentionally(?) turn into an incredible track”. I can list some more notorious offenders of this category, if anyone is curious.

    Anyways, what are some cool aspects of this release?

    Clean production and mixing. That was to be expected, assuming this is the same team Everglow usually works with, but it’s usually worth mentioning anyways. These producers have a great ear for textures that just *feel* good. There’s a lot happening, yet the instrumental doesn’t feel crowded. Last third of the song is where this shines the most.

    The music video is mostly focused, with nice sets and costuming. All of the outfits look bold and “extra” without being too extreme or camp. The editing is fine, with the exception of some nauseating camera effects that were sprinkled throughout. Nothing that otherwise ruins the experience for me, though.

    Things I’m not so fond of? While the technical implementation of the instrumental is well done, I really don’t like the texture choices themselves. So many times does “Pirate” remind me of Ariana Grande and Zedd’s “Break Free”. That song came out in 2014, and it already sounded dated then! I understand that a common component of kpop is revitalizing old sounds with a modern production finish, but this EDM sound is… already clean. “Pirate” contains very few new takes on these textures, with the exception of Mia’s bridge, which is basically a completely different style anyways.

    The songwriting is what I feel the most unsure of. As much as I want to complain about the boring raps or the beat drop chorus, some of the verses are decent, and that pre-chorus is pretty damn strong once it gets going. I’m not even sure if I’m labeling these sections correctly, as “Pirate” seems to have a messy structure, and I mean that in a “not like the other standard pop songs”, good kinda way. As I said earlier, this song Teddy Park(verb)’s the final chorus, and pieces of the song that were once incomplete and unfinished now sound fulfilling and brilliant.

    After writing this, it’s grown on me a little. The performances are strong, and the girls seem comfortable in this style. “Pirate” is no “La Di Da”, there’s enough strong melody in here that could keep me coming back. Though, it’s a little unfair to compare every future comeback to “La Di Da”. Overall, I liked this more than it frustrated me.|

    “Don’t Speak” off this EP totally blew me away! Lovely and dreamy, with some absolutely brilliant production choices.

    Since I wrote this last night, I’ll update this. As I was trying to wake up, groggy and disorientated, I distinctly remember one of my first thoughts this morning: “Damn, I wish I was listening to ‘Pirate’ right now”. That “cuz I’m a pirate” line is infinitely more infectious than it has any right being. Admittedly, there’s an endearing component to this early-2010s eurodance revival that I feel deeply nostalgic for. I don’t feel like my earlier assessments were incorrect, per se, just that I really like it regardless of those criticisms. Looking forward to another round of strong and stand-out Everglow performances for this track.

    Liked by 3 people

  18. You wrote, “..their title tracks have borrowed some of my least favorite elements from K-pop’s boy groups.” Well, whether by design or by happenstance, “Pirate” seems to do the same. However, with this title track, the kooky elements you wrote about seem very similar to PSY’s “Daddy”. The second I heard, “I want to be a pirate”, my head voice started singing, “I got it from my daddy.”

    Since this is an obvious empowerment piece, so I hope it doesn’t draw ire from the South Korean anti-feminist netizen militia. As for the whole “pirate” analogy, it’s either silliness (which gives the song individual identity), or supercilious (additional empowerment, which is a stretch; but still).

    As for your suggestion that being a pirate is an undesirable career path, speak fer yerself, me matey. Arrrg!

    Ref. (P-D):

    Liked by 3 people

    • DUDE! I had the exact same feelings on that “Daddy” thing! Every time they sang “I’m a pirate, yeah uh a pirate” my brain had immediately thought the next line as “where you got that body from? I got it from ma daddy”.

      And I hate it. I hate it so goddamn much.

      Liked by 1 person

      • PSY’s Daddy was my official introduction to K-pop (ik, the path to this rabbit hole would be quite difficult to explain), and that definitely id play into the “fun”-ness this song seems to exude.


  19. “PIRATE” of course because the managed to steal from everyone else for this absolutely horrible song and video. What an utter disappointment!


      • It cracks me up when people accuse a kpop song of “stealing”. Pop music is inherently derivative and the idol sub genre takes it to a whole new level. I was talking to a friend a couple of days ago about kpop and described it as pre-chewed comfort music. And there’s nothing wrong with that!

        Liked by 4 people

    • With a name like Remington, it should come as no surprise when you shoot your mouth off, but get your facts straight. ALL ART IS REPLICATIVE. Great authors steal from real life to write stories that they, themselves, never experienced. Painters, sculptors, prop artists all borrow from life to convey their visions. Music? One of the largest wells that creators all draw their buckets from; taking from the same water source.

      Ever heard of Led Zeppelin? Are you familiar with the early years of Rap and Hip Hop? So.. ..”THIS” song is where you draw an indignant chalk outline around? This is the scene of the crime when it comes to borrowing from other music? What genre do you think you’re listening to? It’s ALL inspired by and derived from previously established material.

      Jesus! Every now and then, someone comes here all persnickety and banging a drum. Today that temper tantrum comes from you. Tomorrow it’ll be someone else. But before you go all indigo holding your breathe, get a bigger picture.

      You don’t like the song. That’s fair. That’s your right. But if you’re going to start firing shots at it, make sure you aren’t firing blanks.

      Liked by 5 people

  20. Yay for more 2nd gen inspired songs! This is 2021’s version of naega cheil jal naga, IVE’s Eleven is 2021’s version of Rum Pum Pum Pum. Neither are as good as their above mentioned song counterparts, but this is a great trend I hope will continue.

    This song could have been much better had that pesky bridge not existed, and the I’m a Pirate repetition is way too repetitive. They could have used it much more sparingly. Also, “You could be anything” reminds me of an advertisement I hate with all my heart.

    But the beat is great. Electro-bass is here to stay it seems, and this seems a more girl crush version of it. Also, great decision to keep the chorus instrumental for the last I’m a pirate, it definitely gives the song a climax. The pre-chorus instrumental is great too, even if it is drop in energy.


    • Also, it’s nowhere near Miroh or Atlantis for me, I don’t think it’ll come near y top 20 sigles this year. But I like this song a lot……..(8,9,8,9 – 8.5)

      Liked by 1 person

  21. The instrumental and the prechorus mainly carried this song but i hope the rest of the song had the same shock factor. Just like someone in the comments above it’s also an 8.5 for me (8,10,8,8)


    • i also can’t stand it and i’m surprised of all this nice comments XD I personally love everglow title tracks but this felt so easy compared to First or La Di Da. Well, time will tell.


  22. I could not agree more! It actually took me this long to get into this comeback since it’s release because I assumed what it would be. I’m always optimistic but when I heard it the first time I just couldn’t connect as well as I could with LA DI DA or BON BON CHOCOLATE(the song that hooked me into everglow) but sure enough as long as I give myself a second try I’ll find something I like because it’s always so well done even if it’s not my cup of tea. Now I’m just rocking out to the energy of the song the most! I definitely don’t care for certain things about it but that’s what I love about kpop! The songs are usually so interwoven with different genres and sounds so I’m bound to like something (whereas for ex American pop tends to be the same sound or style the entire song and the artists don’t evolve as quickly or at least their sound doesn’t which isn’t the artists fault imo but that’s another story for another day) and sure enough I’m really getting into E:U and Aisha’s verses the most (and as always. They’re my bias’) and like I said the energy is undeniable. I have covid currently unfortunately but I still can’t help myself from getting up and dancing to it lol. The pirate line is silly. I don’t like it at all but because it’s repetitive and simple and in English it’s grown on me. Overall I’m here for it as I eventually am with all of their comebacks. It took me a minute to get into Adios. Sorry for the long comment lol


    • I forgot to mention though! The thing that sold me going back into it was the bridge! It was really the thing that took the song from something a little more basic (for lack of a better word) to an interesting blended tune. It’s just long enough and the song finishes strong with the melody I was soon about to get bored with but wasn’t due to that change. What a bridges for! Lol. Anyway they did amazing nonetheless. Even when I don’t like a song for my personal taste I still have to give props and this was one of them. They always work hard and slay


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