It’s been a tumultuous couple of months for the rising stars of Pentagon, but if their latest release, “Naughty Boy,” is any indication of what’s to come, the group will certainly continue to be one of the most exciting acts in K-pop. This single fronts their newest EP, Thumbs Up!, which dropped on September 10.
The cheeky title track, written by Flow Blow, Hui and E’Dawn (Yuto and Wooseok also contributed lyrics), begins with a whistle over springy guitar strums. In comes the familiar Pentagon hum, tolling the start of the verse, and the belts of the members pour in to saturate the colorful tune. It’s a bouncy, brassy, casual song that is an echo of Pentagon’s 2017 mega-shit “Shine,” but tells a very different story.
The title "“청개구리” translates to “green frog” in Korean, referring to the old Korean fable about a frog who doesn’t listen to his parents. People (especially children) who do the opposite of what they're told are often called “green frogs” for this reason. But even though they sing that "I was a troublesome green frog [who] just turned everything upside down/I fixed my bad habit thanks to you." In the video, the rebellious boys slack off from their jobs as they playfully dance to the rhythm, and even hop around like the titular reptiles.
Conspicuously absent from this video are members E’Dawn and Yan An. According to Pentagon’s management, Cube Entertainment, Yan An is currently dealing with medical issues and is on indefinite hiatus. E’Dawn, however, was ousted from Cube after admitting publicly he had been dating fellow idol HyunA without the company's "permission" to do so, resulting in a veritable K-pop scandal. Despite the loss of these two members, however, the remaining octet continues to deliver solid new work that will hopefully lead them to even more acclaim.