Fresh off their debut in October, rookie Cube boy group Pentagon is making a quick comeback with second single Can You Feel It (감이 오지). Keeping them in the spotlight is a smart move, and there are enough musical through-lines between their two singles to begin to form a distinct identity for the group. In fact, many elements of Can You Feel It are firing on all cylinders, but there’s one crucial ingredient missing.
More on that in a bit. First, it’s worth discussing what works about the song. From the beginning, the nimble electric guitar pattern gives the instrumental a memorable rhythmic hook that effectively drives the verses. Even better is the pre-chorus, which introduces drumline-style snare to give a dramatic sound that hearkens back to the marching band elements found in Gorilla. Trumpets build on this theme as the track thunders into the chorus. It’s all remarkably produced, feeling full and impactful. But unfortunately, that aforementioned missing ingredient is a memorable chorus.
It’s almost as if the actual chorus had been removed, leaving only its supporting vocals and ad-libs behind. It’s not that what’s here is bad or unenjoyable — it’s just that it doesn’t amount to much. This is a group with ten members. We should hear an immense vocal arrangement, a layered melody that capitalizes on the beat’s renewed energy. Instead, we get a disconnected series of short refrains that sound more like outtakes from other songs than unique melodic turns in their own right. It’s a real shame, because the bones of the song are strong, and this group has shown incredible potential with just one mini album under their belt. I’m pulling for them, but a lack of balance stalls Can You Feel It just as it needs to rev up. It’s still good… but could’ve been great.