[Review] Pentagon return with refreshing & unique “Do Or Not”

After a jolt of renewed interest from their stint on Road to Kingdom, Pentagon now face the tricky business of military enlistments. Jinho and Hui have already taken their enlistment hiatus, though the latter appears in new single Do Or Not’s audio and music video. In a way, that makes the track feel like the end of an era. But thankfully, Pentagon mark the moment with an upbeat blast of feel-good pop.

I’ve got to give these guys credit for doing something different. It’s been refreshing to hear an influx of new sounds over the past few months in K-pop, and I hope this trend continues. The industry is stronger when it widens its net and doesn’t just rely on the same sounds and structures across the board. Do Or Not borrows from 50’s/60’s doo wop, ties it to a fun power pop backbone and wraps everything in the group’s rambunctious hip-hop energy. As a result, the track stands out among the current K-pop crowd, while still feeling distinctly Pentagon.

Do Or Not opens with a delightful throwback moment, casting the group as lovelorn crooners before the beat drops. And shockingly, the percussion here opts for a band-like approach instead of the same old drum machine we hear in 95% of K-pop tracks these days. This little touch gives Do Or Not great character. It also matches the swing of the verses, which bop along with a satisfying rhythm. From here, we move into a punchy, rock-tinged chorus that reminds me of those times when YG artists would pick up a guitar for a good old-fashioned shout-along. Ultimately, I fear that Do Or Not’s melodies are a bit too one-note to vault the song to superstar status, but I can’t overstate how charming it is to hear a K-pop comeback tackle this sound.

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