Pentagon has come back with “Runaway” of their fifth mini-album Demo 02! This release follows the first part of their series Demo 01 with dreamy pop title track “Like This”. With the great reception and success of “Like This”, Pentagon had a lot to live up to, and unfortunately, “Runaway” just missed the mark this time.

“Runaway” was composed by leader Hui and the FlowBlow production team again. Hui has shown us versatility in his mega-hit compositions, which range from “Like This” to Wanna One’s “Energetic” to Produce 101’s “Never”. This time, he chose to go for an EDM-inspired track. Song-wise, it’s solid, continuing with the more serious and darker mood that “Like This” emanated. “Runaway” is a mid-tempo electronic pop track with a strong beat to counter the softness of “Like This”.

Brief rap sections alternate seamlessly with vocal ones in the verses, building up with a beat drop to the simple but anthem-like chorus. While the chorus is powerful in its own right and plays with the synth motif, it doesn’t quite have the unique factor of their previous title track, with the soft vocal layering contrasting hard rhythmic beats. This lack of a climax at the most crucial point of the song is perhaps its biggest downfall — it’s a good listen, but it’s not exactly memorable.

The music video is extremely similar to that of “Like This” — a lacking and plotless music video that even the amazing cinematography can barely make up for. There are similar elements to the previous one, namely, the Converse shoes in the fish tank and the use of colourful smoke bombs which could suggest some sort of connection between the two.

However, the entire video is simply an assortment of different, seemingly random shots. It is undoubtedly beautifully shot, with switching between cool- and warm-toned tinted backgrounds to colour-saturated dynamic wide shots to vintage scratchy ones emulating an old-school video recorder, but it doesn’t help that we really don’t know what the video is about.

Series-wise, I appreciate the cohesion between the two title tracks of the series: both songs have a slightly darker mood and mid-tempo pace, but there is also a distinct enough difference especially with their genres. Aside from the music, the music videos’ shared components also add to this cohesion. If Pentagon continues down this path, it could really help them in creating and solidifying their own deep and dark sound and style.

Ultimately, I can see where Pentagon is trying to get at with “Runaway” as an dynamic continuation of the Demo series, using a public-friendly electronic genre and aesthetic shots to appeal to its audience. However, it simply falls short of expectations, and doesn’t have quite the unique appeal and charm to lure listeners and viewers in.

(Youtube, Images via Cube Entertainment)