Most of the time, a kpop group’s title track is the best song on their album. But, sometimes b-sides deserve recognition, too. In the singles-oriented world of kpop, I want to spotlight some of these buried treasures and give them the props they deserve.
Twice now, Pentagon have delivered an album track that’s stronger than the promotional single. This time around, it’s the ultra-catchy Pretty, which borrows more from fellow boy group Seventeen’s pop sugar rush style than the brassy hip-hop Pentagon has quickly become known for. It’s a good fit, taking advantage of the group’s youth and personality.
Pretty pulls us back to the 80’s, with bright stabs of synth and syncopated rhythm guitar all working over a familiar funk riff. The track occasionally filters in a sample of crowd cheering, which gives the instrumental a heftier, more lively atmosphere. Pretty centers around a simple, punchy refrain that recalls classic summertime pop at its best. In between those shots of chorus are extended bursts of playful hip-hop, and opportunities for the guys to amp up the party atmosphere with chanted ad-libs and a loose melody. It would have made an excellent title track during the warmer months when songs like these are more trendy. As an album track, it goes a long way in proving that Pentagon can tackle varying concepts and tonal shifts with ease. I hope they explore this particular sound further as they move into 2017.