Review

Song Review: Pentagon – Naughty Boy

There’s no shame in seeking to replicate the success of a hit single. Momoland did it earlier this year when BAAM all but plagiarized their own Bboom Bboom, and now Pentagon have doubled down on the musical hallmarks of their slow-burning spring hit Shine. Of course, Naughty Boy (청개구리) sees the group in a very different place than Momoland, as their ranks have been cut down by two for the time being.

So what does the reconfigured Octagon sound like? Well, leader Hui and his crew Flow Blow are back on songwriting duty, giving Naughty Boy’s rambunctious, stream-of-consciousness sound a familiar appeal. Honestly, the song’s similarity with its predecessor is a little off-putting at first, as Pentagon have already proven themselves to have a more diverse style than this. But that critical lens drops pretty quickly. The track is just too fun to dismiss. And in a boy group climate dominated by brooding and tough guy posturing, I’m all for some fun.

Naughty Boy opens with a whistle, but that potentially grating element rarely returns. Instead, we get laid-back, bouncy verses and a chant-along hook that slightly shifts Shine’s melodic turns to create something just different enough to stand on its own. This chorus is underlined by trumpet-like synth cribbed directly from the final moments of iKON’s Love Scenario, but Pentagon’s unique energy makes it feel fresher than expected. This is a track tailor-made for their rapper, E’Dawn, and it’s a shame that he was kept from participating. You can hear the lines that were meant for his bratty, sing-song tone, and that’s the one ingredient missing from Boy’s addictive brew. The other members compensate well, with the vocalists conjuring a few impressive moments within a pretty restrictive arrangement. The final product isn’t quite as sharp and streamlined as Shine, but it feels like Pentagon have really begun to establish their own unique sound.

 Hooks 9
 Production 8
 Longevity 9
 Bias 8
 RATING 8.5

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3 thoughts on “Song Review: Pentagon – Naughty Boy

  1. It seems to turn back to the glorious 80s ItaloDisco and 90s EuroDance, when producers smashed a sensational hit quickly followed by its identical copy (except for 3 notes) in order to make the wave – and the business – last longer. There are tons of examples out there (Savage’s Don’t Cry Tonight and Only You; Bruce & Bongo’s Geil and Hi Ho; Antico’s We Need Freedom and What I Gotta Do; Basic Connection’s Hablame Luna and You Are My Love or the whole Cappella’s discography, just to mention a few), and Pentagon’s Naughty Boy walks exactly in that direction.
    In this case the result is even worse than ridicolous, because not only it’s a bad imitation of Shine, but removing E’Dawn makes the rap lines sound *so rookie* and *so cheap*.

    If Shine was a long step ahead in their career, Naughty Boy is two even longer steps behind. Probably the most “are you kidding me?!” comeback of the year, no matter how much they will sell compared to Shine.

    Like

  2. Pingback: Top Three K-Pop Songs of September 2018 | The Bias List // K-Pop Reviews & Discussion

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