[Mini-Album] PENTAGON – Ceremony

Ceremony is the third mini-album released by PENTAGON. The pre-release single, “Beautiful”, is featured on the album, while “Critical Beauty” was used as the main promotional track.

ceremony

Released: June 12, 2017
1. Critical Beauty (예뻐죽겠네)
2. Lucky
3. To Universe (소중한 약속)
4. Nobody
5. Spectacular (스펙터클 해)
6. Thank You (고마워)
7. Beautiful

To start things off, we are given the promo track. Critical Beauty is a change of sound as it brings some oldschool R&B vibes and doesn’t quite sound like anything out in K-Pop. This is both a great and not-so-great thing. I love how it focuses more on the vocals and the boys all sound great here. The melody is really dynamic and catchy and I love the big belted notes. However, the music is just so empty. It focuses a lot on the guitar over a hip-hop beat, but I feel like it lacks a full sound that would really propel it to the next level. I like the song, but I feel like it could be better executed.

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Lucky goes for a more contemporary R&B and hip-hop sound. What was lacking in the last song, is really brought here as the music is satisfyingly fuller sounding. What lacks a bit here is the melody. The song goes for a more midtempo pace, but it lacks a really dynamic hook to let the chorus stand out. It’s still a pretty solid album track though.

Slowing things down even more is To Universe, a thank you song to the group’s fans. As usual with these kinds of songs, it is a ballad.. It starts acoustically driven before powering up for chorus. The group has done ballads before, but the melody here is a bit forgettable. It just doesn’t quite fly out smoothly and I feel like the music does a lot of the work. It’s not bad, but just not as strong as the other ballads on this mini.

I’m more excited for Nobody, which brings us back to something more hard-hitting. The verses are pretty bare, but I like how the pace starts to build towards to chorus as it makes things more intense. The chorus brings the EDM elements, but I like that there is a still a more melodic side to things instead of leaving it entirely to the drop. It’s not the catchiest chorus, but it suffices in making a pretty decent tune.

Spectacular mixes pop and dance but changes the more serious vibe for something really bright and silly. I like the verses because they bring something not heard as often from the group. The chorus is pretty fun as well due to its blast of energy thanks to that pulsating beat and that hook-driven melody. I like that the guys are trying to bring a bit of variety to this mini.

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Thank You is another ballad, but only features Hui and Jinho. The song is more piano-focused and it works stunningly to showcase the vocals of both of these wonderful singers. I really love the reedy quality of Hui’s voice and Jinho’s heavier tone really helps bring a wonderful contrast. The things these two vocally do in this song is absolutely amazing from the great belts to the great falsetto notes. This is my favourite song on the mini.

Already released as a pre-release single, Beautiful comes popping in with its brighter delivery despite being a ballad as well. This is a really great song with a booming chorus. My only problem with the song still remains as that cheesy hook sort of grinds my mind. Besides that, it is a pretty nice track and a good ending.


Overall: This is probably the weakest of their first three minis just because there were very few stand out tracks. I was expecting more songs to really wow me, but I only found that in the last two ballads. With that said, the other songs were still pretty solid, but they were just lacking in some areas. It’s still a really great release and PENTAGON has yet to bring out a mediocre mini.

A

[Digital Single] PENTAGON – Beautiful

Beautiful is the first digital single released by PENTAGON. It was used as a pre-release single for their third mini-album, CEREMONY

beautiful(pentagon)
Released: May 18, 2017
1. Beautiful

Beautiful was produced by BTOB’s Jung Ilhoon and is a great midtempo pop ballad. The song starts off in a simple and gentle way that focuses a lot on the harmonies. The highlight is right when the chorus opens as the percussion comes booming in and laying the foundation for that pretty melody to come floating in. The boys sound great and I feel like all their voices deliver here. My only gripe is the hook of “You are beautiful”, which I find a bit cheesy and not particularly catchy. The rest of the song makes up for it though.


Overall: This was a great single to release before the mini and helped to showcase the boys’ vocal capabilities. The harmonies and pounding percussion really help things soar.

A

[Mini-Album] PENTAGON – Five Senses

Five Senses is the second mini-album released by PENTAGON. Can You Feel It was used as the promo song and Pretty was later used to promote the album with a special MV.

fivesenses
Released: December 7, 2016
1. Can You Feel It (감이 오지)
2. Engine
3. Pretty (예쁨)
4. Lose Yourself (풀러)
5. Stay Crazy (정신 못 차려도 돼)

Can You Feel It is a big difference from the boy’s promo song on their debut mini, Gorilla. Instead of a catchy, hip-hop inspired upbeat tune, we have something a little more dance/pop. There are still some hip-hop aspects to it, especially in the areas with rap, but the chorus isn’t as repetitive and features a strong brass backing that helps give it a bit of different energy. I don’t think it is as catchy on the first listen, but is the type of song that needs a bit of time. I do love how the song has so many different pieces to it.

Engine is definitely different with its more EDM. It’s a nice change, although I think the pre-chorus really helps to build the song up, but the delivery of the chorus is a bit flat. The “feel like engine” just comes off a bit odd despite the the more EDM/tropical house vibe of the song and it just doesn’t feel that catchy. The music itself isn’t bad, but it doesn’t really take the genre and push it far enough.

Pretty is probably the most “pop” the group has done and it has the same energy that Gorilla has, which is what I love. It has a funky beat that works nicely with the touches of synths and brass that blast through the chorus. I really like how fun the melody is as well. The verses aren’t boring and the silly raps help to bring a great synergy to the song’s overall delivery.

Lose Yourself is another upbeat tune and I love the underlying funk beat the song has going on. The energy is also really great and the more disco/funk inspired chorus is definitely a welcomed change and something that the guys pull off nicely. The song is catchy is while it does have some repetition, it also has a nice flushed out melody to contrast the hook. Even the rap blends in nicely here. Another stellar tune!

Stay Crazy is the slowest song on the album, but it’s still a laid back R&B/pop tune. Not a big fan of these kinds of songs, but this one isn’t too bad. The guys have the skills to really bring the energy up with this one and the music in the chorus at least has a full backing so it certainly has the power to keep it from getting boring. The overall song feels more like what Big Bang would do though.


Overall: This is another great mini and while I like it a little less than their debut, it is still such a solid release. What I find lacking is in two of the songs, where one just isn’t my cup of tea and the other has potential but falters a bit on the delivery of the hook. The rest of the songs are great and they all are among some of the best of PENTAGON’s strongest tunes.

A

[Mini-Album] PENTAGON – PENTAGON

PENTAGON is CUBE’s newest boy band and while they haven’t reached the heights of CUBE’s other boy bands, BEAST (Highlight) and BtoB, the group definitely has the potential to. PENTAGON is the debut mini-album by the group. Gorilla was used as the promo song.

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Released: October 16, 2016
1. Wake UP (Intro)
2. Pentagon
3. Gorilla
4. Lukewarm (미지근해)
5. Smile
6. Organic Song (귀 좀 막아줘)
7. You Are

Wake UP (Intro) opens the album with a stronger hip-hop sound. I’m not a huge fan of this kind of style, so this isn’t quite for me, but I do like the beat and E’Dawn sounds great rapping here. Then, the title track comes crashing in.

Pentagon still has some hip-hop elements, but there are definitely some dance elements thrown in as while, which is a nice change. The verses are rather calming and do a great job of showing off the guys’ vocals. The build up and the explosive chorus are insane. It’s really powerful and I love how the melody doesn’t get lost in it at all. Definitely a highlight.

Gorilla changes up the more dramatic sound for something on the brighter side. I didn’t quite like this song at first because of the silliness of it and the stronger hip-hop sound, however, I’ve come to really enjoy the song. It’s silly, but still insanely catchy and has some really clever points to it like the funky saxophone and other touches of bass that underline the music. It’s repetitive, but intoxicating and is a fun debut song.

Lukewarm changes things up yet again by bringing some tropical house. This was right around the time the sound was becoming more prevalent in K-Pop and it’s still a nice tune. I think it sort of gets lost due to the fact there have just been so many tropical house songs since, but it does bring some variety to the album. The chorus is a bit empty and I would have liked some more energy. Still, it’s a fun tune and I think the guys sound great.

Smile is the most laidback tune up to this point and I like that while it brings a more “coffeehouse pop” kind of sound, it also changes things up by giving it a fuller arrangement. It really helps the song not get too dull. It’s not my favourite song on the mini, but it’s definitely a nice change and the rappers do great here.

Organic Song only features the rappers and Hui on vocals (in the bridge). It definitely has the strongest hip-hop elements on the album, but for some reason I still like it. It’s really laid back and each of the rappers does a nice job of fitting their tones into the song, especially E’Dawn. Hui also does an excellent job on the bridge and final chorus and his voice really stands out.

You Are is one of my favourite songs on the album. It’s the only ballad on the album but it is phenomenal. It has the traditional ballad elements to it, but has a more ethereal vibe that fits with the rest of the album. CUBE seems to give the boy bands some amazing ballads, and this is just another example. The guys sound great and it works nicely with the layering of the vocals. The best part of the song is that killer ending with the belts from Jino and Hui. They are insane.


Overall: This was such a strong mini. I do like that the guys played with a number of genres on the album, but there always seemed like some elements that helped tied everything together. I was especially surprised by the fact that every song was well-produced and even when it wasn’t a genre I enjoyed, it still turned out to be a quality tune.

A+