Since the release of 2019’s fantastic Sha La La, I don’t think I’ve connected strongly with a major Pentagon release. Sure some of my past posts may indicate otherwise but even the songs that I initially reviewed positively since went on to not have the best longevity (see Dr.BeBe). I think that’s been more due to how their musical direction didn’t line up to my tastes than anything else. And while I don’t think DO or NOT is a complete musical triumph, it’s easily my favourite Pentagon song in ages.
One of Pentagon’s biggest pulls has always been their unique and incredibly distinctive vocal blend, something that’s on full display throughout Do or Not. The more bluesy opening is unexpected in the best way, lending a strong melodic touch to the track and shining full spotlight on Hui’s great vocals. It’s a strong introduction and segues into an equally potent pop-rock instrumental that just feels like the equivalent to sunshine in a bottle. I know for many that this might feel a little too generic or novel but for someone who grew up on Disney Channel original songs like Cloud 9 (still such a feel good jam) and We’re All In This Together, it’s a sound that retains a soft in my heart. And that’s probably why DO or NOT‘s feel good pop bounce clicks with me so much. The ascending pre-chorus especially is just fantastic, injecting a more emotive melody that manages to pull at the heart strings whilst still acting as a stirring set up for the bouncy chorus.
Speaking of which, the chorus is an absolute treasure trove of hooks. It might not be the most original of melodies but I love how its separated into multiple little refrains and is sung in unison. It feels much more genuine than the kind of limp, non-melodic or try hard hooks that the group have been tackling as of late and feels much more fitting for a group like Pentagon. In the end, your enjoyment of a song like DO or NOT will rest heavily on your preference towards these kinds of pop rock songs and while it might not be for everyone, it sure is for me.
Final Rating: 8.5/10