Debuting in 2016, Pentagon have finally amassed enough title tracks to be eligible for a top ten countdown. Of all the rookies in their generation, it feels like Pentagon have been on a roller coaster of highs and lows, finding both breakout success and frustrating hardships. Through it all, they’ve built a rock-solid discography, equally split between self-composed material and strong collaborations. Here are their best!
10. Violet (2017)
Simultaneously a Korean side track and Japanese single, the wistful Violet always felt like an odd choice for promotion. Its fitful instrumental and dynamic vocals impress, but it lacks the melodic heft of their best material.
9. Runaway (2017)
As their second self-composed title track, Runaway had much to prove. But despite its catchy chorus and EDM-meets-hip-hop production, it felt more like a lateral move than a career highlight. (full review)
8. Critical Beauty (2017)
Trading the group’s brass-powered sound for a 1950’s rock touch, Critical Beauty drew on Pentagon’s powerful vocals but would have improved with a beefier chorus. (full review)
7. Can You Feel It (2016)
Though its lack of a strongly defined chorus made Can You Feel feel underwhelming on first listen, it has stood the test of time thanks to its rousing instrumental and commanding performance. (full review)
6. Naughty Boy (2018)
Attempting to follow-up on the loss of one of their integral members was always going to be difficult, and Naughty Boy’s relentless cheerfulness would have come across differently had Pentagon not been reeling from undeserved scandal. It may be a musical shadow of Shine, but there’s nothing wrong with that. Naughty Boy still sparks quirky fun. (full review)
5. Gorilla (2016)
Gorilla’s funky brass riff headlined an addictive instrumental and gave Pentagon the perfect playground for a punchy, charismatic debut. (full review)
4. Like This (2017)
Bolstering the group with a newfound sense of maturity (and creative control), Like This’ emotive performance and moody instrumental represented a seismic shift in Pentagon’s sound. Its soaring bridge is still among their very best moments. (full review)
3. Pretty Pretty (2017)
Initially an album track, Pretty Pretty proved too addictive not to promote. Featuring the group’s most ebullient chorus, the song is a blissful foray into poppier territory, supported by a funky backbone and youthful energy to spare. (full review)
2. Shine (2018)
Shine mastered 2018’s playful, mid-tempo hip-hop vibe and became a major breakout for the group. It’s undoubtedly their signature song, led by a now iconic piano line and bratty hook that fully harnesses the members’ ragtag charisma. (full review)
1. Cosmo (2019)
As Pentagon’s first original Japanese single, Cosmo pushed them in new directions. Rather than build on the hip-hop sound of their 2018 work, the song draws on the strength of their vocals for a shot of finely honed power. Its labyrinthine arrangement confuses at first, but also creates an off-balance sense of expectation that brilliantly highlights the song’s more bombastic moments. (full review)
Ohhhh “Cosmo” at #1 after only being just released? And Pentagon are no strangers to your top 50 countdowns in general, too. Somehow, I’ve only ever been super into “Shine” out of Pentagon’s singles, for whatever reason.
A big side note, are you ever going to update countdowns for groups that have had significant releases since? No pressure of course, but for example your “Top 10 NCT” article doesn’t have “Baby Don’t Stop,” and your Top 10 Twice still has their *cough* aggressively mediocre *cough* Japanese singles, something which I personally cry about every day.
Yeah, updating some of the top tens is something I’m always meaning to do but then new songs come out and I just don’t have time. There are a few lists that get tons of hits and desperately need to be updated. Maybe I’ll try to edit a couple this week, since it’s gonna be a slow time for K-pop with the lunar new year approaching. NCT, Seventeen and Twice are at the top of my need-to-update list.
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