Pentagon – Universe: The Black Hall
Title: Universe: The Black Hall Artist: Pentagon Label: Cube Entertainment Release: February 12, 2020
It is quite shocking to me that Pentagon has never released a full album. I guess a lot of groups are like Blackpink in that aspect. However, given that Pentagon debuted the same year as Blackpink and has released 13 singles which do not include collabs and bsides while Blackpink has a grand total of 13 songs, I would like to say that Blinks are valid in demanding more. All my bitterness aside, I decided to give this album a listen and give thoughts because I didn’t want to be called a boy group anti and since I did Dreamcatcher, I thought I would throw a bone to another group that released their first full album. When it comes to Pentagon, I like Wooseok the most and Hui cause he likes Blackpink…Overall, they are nice boys.
The album opens with title track, Dr. Bebe. It does a solid job at setting the tone for what is to be expected as we move on through the album and the vibe that the album will garner. I like the repetitive hook even if the song itself is mediocre. There is just something so lovely about the high notes and adlibs that transforms this song from being absolutely stagnant and basic for me. It could be because the music video was bomb as fuck and full of heart and performance that it would stand out in the clones of similar boy group songs.
Asteroid is more of an upbeat song that utilizes a lot of synth sounds. It is also the kind of trendy song that a boy group of this generation would debut with. There is also nothing very memorable about this song as I can soon forget it as we move into Shower of Rain. I like how this song starts off, but there really isn’t much that would distinguish it from Asteroid to in my opinion. I think that between the two I would likely revisit Shower of Rain more.
Die for You is probably in the top three tracks that I like from this album. I am very into this type of soft rock ballads with trap elements. Some of my favorite songs from boy groups not named EXO actually utilize this sound. The mood is shifted when the album moves to the next track Talk, which is a more R&B style. I couldn’t help, but think of Khalid’s song while listening to it and I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the inspiration. Overall, not bad to listen to especially the last few seconds.
The Black Hall was composed by Hui with the guy who did Energetic and even if I didn’t know this, I would’ve still said that this feels like a Wannaone song. Hehehe. I don’t have much to say about this as this was one of the songs that I forgot quite easily the first time through this album. Worship U started off as something I should’ve loved more, but it kinda fizzled into generic sounds that we’ve heard many times and doesn’t really go anywhere.
Literally not even 2 seconds into Zoom Up, I knew I was going to love this song and it was going to be my favorite on the track. I don’t know exactly what string instrument is being played, but I do know that I am a sucker for when traditional oriental sounds are implemented into Asian songs. I often feel like this type of choice elevates a song from average and being interchangeable with the west. This song has the most personality on the album, I feel like this should’ve been the title track. And then comes the ballad that is present on every album, Camellia. There isn’t much to say about it. It’s beautiful and emotional and average.
To be honest, after this point there isn’t really much of anything else. The two remaining songs, Someday and Happiness, are just both kinda there. Someday is sang by Jinho and Hui, and could be an OST. Happiness is a redo of their Japanese single.
The album isn’t really anything spectacular or unique. It is more or less what I expected from Pentagon. I would have liked if there was more of a variety when it came to the songs and the genres. I don’t know if the album as a complete work would be something I revisit again, but I do know that Zoom Up, Die for You and Talk are permanent fixtures on my playlist.
Overall Rating: 3/5