Pentagon made their bid for a summer hit with last month’s “Humph“, but my feelings about the song could basically be summed up by its title. I hate to see the group succumb to retreads of 2018 hit “Shine“ at the expense of new sounds. Their one-two punch of “Cosmo” and “Sha La La” hinted at new horizons earlier in the year, but it feels like summer has stolen their ambition. If “Humph” was a step backward, new Japanese single “Happiness” is more like a holding pattern.
To be fair, “Happiness” isn’t simply another re-creation of “Shine.” The song is very much its own beast, but a ho-hum hook prevents it from becoming a highlight within their discography. This is a shame, because it feels as if the song wants to be something more. Its groovy, new jack swing beat is a welcome addition to the Pentagon oeuvre, and possesses the kind of funky charm that was largely missing from “Humph.”
Unfortunately, the melody of “Happiness” feels more like b-side material. It’s pleasant all the way through, but never really goes anywhere. The hooks are so airy they’re rendered almost intangible. Pentagon perform everything with verve — and there are some nice harmonies at play — but there’s just not much substance for them to sink their teeth into.
IATFB says: It was fine enough, I guess. Just uninspired.