PENTAGON -- PENTAGON
1. Wake Up (Intro)
6. Organic Song
7. You Are
Cube has debuted their 3rd boy band, Pentagon, consisting of leader Hui, Jinho (aka Jino of S.M. The Ballad), Hongseok (previously of YG Entertainment), E'Dawn, Shinwon, Yeo One, Kino, Wooseok, Chinese member Yanan and Japanese member Yuto. The rookie group's debut mini-album is eponymous. They also have the distinction of being Cube's largest boy band, boasting 10 members.
"Wake Up" is their intro track, and it starts out promising with definite electronic influences. I love how, while it's short, it still adheres to traditional song structures with main verses, chorus, and a rap bridge. Unfortunately, Shinwon's rapping is annoying, and the problem is not so much with the flow but with the voice. It's too high and sounds more fitting for nightcore.
Poor Yeo. Blame it on Common Core.
The title track is "Gorilla." I'm of two minds about it, as it straddles the line between powerful and upbeat, like it can't decide what it wants to be. I'd like one or the other, but it doesn't quite pop as either. There's just something about it that's a little off, and I can't exactly put my finger on why. The tune grows on me the more I listen to it, though.
"Organic Song" is performed by E'Dawn, Yuto, Wooseok and Hui. This is one of the tracks written by the members, and it's a little different from some other mid-tempo tunes I've heard, and it crosses into rap seamlessly. I like how the boys' voices sound here. While I'm hardly a fan of mid-tempo, it works seriously well here.
Jinho, Hui, Hongseok, Shinwon, Yeo One, Yanan and Kino sing "You Are," a ballad written by the members with way more falsetto than I'm comfortable with. Used in moderation, falsetto can add emotional weight to a song. Here, it's egregious and overwrought. It does the song itself a disservice. Other than that, there's little to distinguish this from any other ballad.
I really can't get into this album at all. At best, it seems like they're trying too hard to be different. While you need something unique to rise above the glut of boy bands, the music can't suffer as a result. Here, it seems like it did. I hate to trash a new band, but I didn't find much here to like. This album wasn't as strong a showing as they were hoping for.
Watch the boys as escaped apes in their new MV "Gorilla!"
At least, that's what I think is going on. At least that's how the intro tells the tale, and I can't see any other reason why they'd be scrambling (unless they're running from these sizable simians). There are shots of them in a sterile classroom type setting, in some garage like structure, and yes, dancing in a box (but at least it has jungle decor on the bars, glows, and is shaped like a pentagon).
Still, the main focus is the dancing, and boy can they dance. With 10 members, it can be hard to find space, but they do it well, splitting in two and putting the one with the singing part in the middle, and the two horizontal row trick, with their positions staggered to give everyone decent exposure. The gorilla dance is occasionally amusing, with the boys hunching and clenching their fists. I think Jane Goodall would approve.
This is a pretty strong MV for a rookie band, and despite the tropes, it's pretty enjoyable, with flashy camera work and intense dancing. Nice job, guys.