[Album Review] Universe: The Black Hall (1st Studio Album) – Pentagon

Can you believe that I posted another album review on schedule? It sounds crazy. And another wish that has managed to come true is that Pentagon finally has their first studio album!!! It has been a wish that I (and many fans) have been look forward to ever since their early days and they have finally given us what we all wanted. The album is titled Universe: The Black Hall and this was released early February. The album features Dr. BeBe as the title track and also the Korean version of Happiness (a Japanese single they promoted last year) among other new songs.

Universe: The Black Hall Album Cover

1. Dr. BeBe (Dr. 베베) (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for Dr. BeBe. (7/10)

2. Asteroid – The song opens up with this catchy squeaky disk-scratching-like synth that plays in my head even after the song finishes. The song, with a title about a large rock in space, does have this space-like vibe to it. What I really like is that the song isn’t that serious compared to Dr. BeBe, which means it isn’t as heavy as a result. The track has a decent dance backdrop and all these instrumental elements and characteristics make the song very appealing. The vocal work was also quite good, but I feel like the rap was the more dynamic out of the two. But either way, it made the song stand out. (9/10)

3. Shower of Rain – To me, Shower of Rain sounds like it is a title for a ballad. So, I was thoroughly surprised with how upbeat the pop track was. It started off with distorted sounds and slowly moved into a fulfilling and loaded instrumental. It peaks during the chorus and really helps give the song that bold effect. I love the way the song manages to strip itself down in the later parts and then return to the loaded sound right after. What also really surprised me was the vocals. I know Pentagon has good vocals, through some of their amazing works in the past. But Shower Of Rain has to contain of their best efforts yet. In additional to that, I liked the way they ended the song by getting everyone together to warn their partner to not leave them. (10/10)

4. Die For You – We get back into grungy and edgy side of Pentagon through Die For You. The instrumental takes on rocks, along with dance track synths. This sounds likes something we have heard before from other artists, but I feel like there is a sense of uniqueness to the song, based on how they layered the two sides of the instrumentation (i.e. the rock seems to come through and is not masked in any manner by the dance synths). The English in this track really stands out and really give off a sense of the dark side of the song. Vocally, the group stood out. But this time around, I thought the rapping was a little underwhelming, (8.5/10)

5. Talk – Pentagon brings out the acoustic guitar for Talk. They pair it with simple synths that give it a little more character that if they went just the guitar along. This keeps the song in line with the dance heavy tracks and ease us away with stripping the synths out completely. Vocally, the song was like a ballad and I thought there was a decent equilibrium that the group managed to strike between the raps and vocals. Both sounded good on their own and went well with the track. The track just didn’t feel like it up to par with the rest of the album. (8/10)

6. The Black Hall – I found The Black Hall to be a classy song when it first started. When the song’s main synths started to come in, I thought this classy vibe would be lost. But instead, the song manages keep the classy feel as it goes along. The vocal work is the main element that keeps this going, with its sensual styling. The way they dragged out ‘The Black’ felt so unique with their breathy voices. Going back to the instrumental, the synths ended up being very appealing. The bridge was also a standout part, as it built up quite fast and help give out a further rush of energy to the song. (9/10)

7. Worship U – While you could tell the song was going to be a dance track, the explosion of energy we got in the pre-chorus and chorus respectively caught me off guard as it just seems to come out of nowhere. And while that may be a recipe for disaster, that wasn’t the case of Worship U. The explosion of energy really helped make the song be addictive and bold. The delayed start to the final chorus made the ending feel so much more defined. I just wished the melodies and hooks were a lot stronger, which would definitely helped the song be more appealing. (8/10)

8. Zoom Up – The lyrics to Zoom Up seem to go in a sensual direction. I found that to be rather interesting. It is paired well with a very intense synth-heavy dance instrumental. It also used a traditional guitar of some sort at the start and end of the song, which I thought was a very peculiar highlight in the song. The vocal work and rapping sounded pretty good, though I felt like they had to compete in order to be heard. Furthermore, there wasn’t much of a separation to the chorus and pre-chorus, which I thought was odd. I was waiting for the chorus to come, but it never did. It wasn’t until I heard more of the song that I realized the Zoom Zoom Zoom Up part was the chorus. But it still works. (8/10)

9. Camellia – After so much upbeat tracks, we finally reach the ‘mandatory ballad’ zone of the album. First up is Camellia. It is a standard ballad in terms of instrumentation. It seems to incorporate a bit of slow rock in addition to the typical ballad nature of the song. But it is the type that makes you sway along to the music, which we know is my official criteria for a good ballad. What I think the group nails perfectly are their vocals. The melody and their delivery were very beautiful. The rapping as well was tweaked amazingly. Last time I felt strongly with a Pentagon ballad was Beautiful, which is still one of my favourite tracks from the group to this day. (8/10)

10. Someday – The second ballad on the album is Someday, which features the main vocalists of the group, Jinho and Hui. It is another beautiful track from the group. The duo relies on a typical orchestral sound for the ballad. But I like the way this wraps around the duo’s vocals in such a warm manner. While we are also mentioning vocals, both sounded spectacular. Each sounds so damn good on their own and their harmonies are really breathtaking. What makes this an even more special song is that the duo dedicated this song to their fellow members, making the meaning even more touching. (10/10)

11. Happiness (Korean Version) – I have previously reviewed Happiness when the song was first released in Japan. Click here to read the full review for Happiness. (6.5/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.4/10

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