PENTAGON – 'UNIVERSE: THE BLACK HALL'
1. Dr. BeBe *Title
3. Shower Of Rain
4. Die For You
6. THE BLACK HALL
7. Worship U
8. Zoom Up
10. Someday (Song By Jinho, Hui)
11. HAPPINESS (Kor Ver.)
Pentagon has just released their newest album, 'Universe: The Black Hall.' A full album, it has 11 tracks, including the title track, "Dr. BeBe." This is their first-ever LP.
Sonically, "Dr. BeBe" sounds quite sinister. At least in the beginning. Soft bridges take the edge off this song. The raps bring it back, though. I love the intensity of this song, particularly near the end. This is their title track, meant to guide us through the Black Hall. And as I listen to it sets the expectation that this album is going to be awesome. Starting with squelchy, space-age synths, "Asteroid" is a quieter song. It has those smooth parts that Pentagon does quite well. It turns more into a dance track as it progresses. But maintains that space-age feel throughout. "Shower Of Rain" is a more playful track. It starts out kind of cool with distorted synths. Then comes the rather stripped-down instrumentation, at least in the beginning. It gets more filled out as it goes along, and gets more earnest as it hits the chorus. What's interesting is when it goes back to the main verses, it returns to that sense of fun. I'm not sure which part I like better.
You don't have much time before "Die For You" gets to the chorus. It's a club banger backed by electric guitars. And I like this a lot. There's a sense of urgency in the main verses, a sense that it's building towards something big. Particularly when the raps come in. "TALK" is playful, but in a different way than "Shower of Rain." When those explosive vocals arrive, it's a little bit of a shock. But in a good way. It's a pleasant surprise. The softer parts kind of lull you into complacency. But I like how this song is put together. "THE BLACK HALL" has this kind of space-age intro. Buy quickly it finds its own footing as a club banger. It sounds dangerous, and a little edgy. And I love the way this sounds. It sounds every bit as epic as I was hoping, that's a good thing. They do their best on "Worship U," but it somehow struck me as a filler track. I wasn't as enchanted with this one as I was with the other tracks. And it's not for lack of trying. The raps are there, and the expansive vocals, but for some reason, it left me cold.
I liked "Zoom Up" a lot better than the previous track. There seems a little more variation to this one. This one has some staccato stylings, and those backing strings are interesting. "Camellia Flower" is a ballad. It's got those heartfelt vocals you've come to expect and is quite soothing. And yes, the melody is pretty standard and repeats itself a lot. But as I said, I found it relaxing. "Someday" is another ballad by Jinho and Hui. It's a piano-driven piece, and I have to say I don't like this one as much as "Camellia Flower." For one thing, I don't like falsetto. And this song seems to have plenty of it. It's okay, but a little bland.
I have to say this album is pretty tight. There is remarkably little filler. Not every band can do that. Some even have filler on their mini-albums. And it sort of represents a shift in style. There are some softer pieces mixed in with the absolutely dark-sounding songs. While I'm not crazy about the soft stuff, I definitely enjoy the harder stuff. With the fate of VIXX unknown, Pentagon has decided to fill the void. So you have one more place to turn for your dark fantasy fix.
This is an interesting MV. Remember how I talked about VIXX and their dark concepts? Well, Pentagon has seemed to emulate that with this comeback.
Aside from the dancing scenes, every shot looks like the boys are trapped. Whether wrapped in what looks like toilet paper (LOL) or trapped in a room with bars on the windows or even chained up, the feeling of being tied up or restrained is definitely the point of the MV.
There are a fair amount of locations, though they may well be part of the same building. There's what looks like a concrete parking garage, and a room (also made of concrete) with bars on the windows They were trying to make it look like there was another location, but really it's just the parking garage with red lighting. Not to mention the cramped, dark areas where the boys find themselves.
That doesn't mean it's a bad video, but it was remarkable how tiny the locations looked. The members look pretty dynamic in that red light, though.
Now, where they do excel is dancing. Just about every group has to have a dance shtick and some choreo. Pentagon is no exception. Matter of fact they handle this masterfully. What they lack in variation they make up for with moves. There's drama in those dance routines, exaggerated movements that really make this video pop. Almost like they're breaking free from their chains.
And if you're asking me if I enjoyed this, of course, I did. I love gloomy, ominous concepts, and this MV is definitely that.
MV SCORE: 9.0
ALBUM SCORE: 8.6