Review

Song Review: KARD – Dumb Litty

With a title like “Dumb Litty,” the only feeling I could muster around the lead-up to KARD’s new single was morbid curiosity. How bad would it actually be? Yeah, I pre-judged this thing pretty hard. But, the group is coming off the swaggy noise attack of Bomb Bomb, one of the year’s most obnoxious title tracks. Dumb Litty brings KARD’s production into member BM’s hands, which didn’t fill me with much hope. As charismatic as the guy is onstage, he’s yet to show any musical goals beyond getting “lit.”

I like a good hype song. Or, should I say… I like a good song that hypes me up. There’s a key difference here, and one that modern pop music too often forgets. Hype for hype’s sake is just a bunch of people shouting at you with the volume loud enough to make you forget there’s no actual song attached to the bombast. Dumb Litty is certainly loud, but that’s about all the song’s got. It’s a hollow thunderclap of meme-able moments for fans to fawn over. I predict that most positive reactions will focus on the members themselves. J.Seph slayed me! Oh my god, Jiwoo! Queen!

This is fine. So much of K-pop thrives on performance and idol worship. But for me, all that charisma is simply the icing on the cake. And in Dumb Litty’s case, that icing is drizzled over a monotonous clatter trap designed to pummel the listener into submission. The EDM synths are turned up to eleven, the trap beats are relentless and the chorus essentially boils down to “dumb dumb dumb dumb, bang that drum… something something… stupid!” I’m paraphrasing, of course, but there really isn’t much meat on these bones. A brief glimmer of hope occurs during the pre-chorus, when the percussion takes a more complex turn and we get a momentary respite from all the gruff bellowing. But overall, this is “hype” by the numbers, devoid of imagination or charm.

 Hooks 4
 Production 6
 Longevity 5
 Bias 4
 RATING 4.75

17 thoughts on “Song Review: KARD – Dumb Litty

  1. Man, I’m bummed about this. I’m all for Kard going in a heavier, more abrasive direction, but this is just messy. Where are the hooks?

    I wasn’t too fond of “Bomb Bomb” upon release but it’s grown on me in a huge way and the “make it burn, make it burn, maeil bambam” hook is stuck in my head. Maybe this will grow on me similarly but idk, there doesn’t seem to be as much to latch onto.

    Like

  2. I sooo agree with you. It really seems like Kard is just taking the direction that still seems to be “trendy” and right now it’s the badass concept.

    And this song is really rough and not polished enough to be really enjoyable.

    I really qish they spend money on April’s comeback instead of going for this track.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. tbh i think some of their best songs were released when they went under the radar for a while (like the YOU&ME, Ride on the wind albums), sadly this year they regained popularity with Bomb Bomb so results show them to continue in this hype-path

    Like

    • I like r/kpop a lot, but I swear people that post there love anything and everything. I always feel like a grump in comparison. Even this song has hundreds of comments that are essentially over-the-top praise.

      Call me crazy, but I’ve always felt that if you “love” everything, you don’t really *love* anything at all.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I think for a public forum like r/kpop it is best that it makes it looks like everyone likes everything. That probably is the best way to fend off fan wars and company agent’s manipulation attemps and maintain a functional information board

        Like

  4. I like the song a lot! Sure it’s very loud and centered around the idea of being “lit”, but it’s the perfect song for bumbling around the room when I’m alone.

    More specific parts and aspects I enjoy include the member “units” and J.Seph’s rap part. First and third chorus have Somin and J.Seph, while the second has Jiwoo and BM. I like how they alternate, it keeps it fresh imo. And for J.Seph’s rap: since I’m not a very good music connoisseur, it’s hard to describe in detail what I get out of a song, but put super simply, his part just sounds *nice* to me. What can I say? I have a lizard brain and just like “litty” music.

    I’m surprised the song didn’t score higher on the “hook” scale. After a few plays earlier in the day, I found myself humming/singing “We go dumb dumb dumb dumb, 누가 뭘해도 litty, litty dumb litty bang that drum,” a few times while waiting at the bus stop.

    Valid criticism: it’s all “hype”, and doesn’t aspire to be much more than that. You can totally tell it’s a BM-produced track. Even the ladies’ verses are delivered with a talk-rapping style that could just as easily been yell-rapped by BM.

    Is it a fun as hell song for me and my friends? Oh yeah. I’m here for the meme energy and “dumb litty man tiddies” jokes.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I do, however, feel that DSP Ent. is cheaping out. The editing and graphic design (logos, image teasers, cover designs) for the past few releases have been kinda low effort, and the music videos since at least Bomb Bomb have left something a bit lacking. Part of me wonders if using (BM as an in-house producer is a way for DSP to cut costs. I think KARD mentioned in an interview something about it being difficult to find co-ed song productions, so maybe it has something to do with that as well.)

    That leads me to wonder, is KARD doing well enough financially? International hype is one thing, but Twitter “stans” especially have a hard time supporting groups outside of streaming and “stan” comments (ex. “This comeback SNATCHED me, stream dumb litty!!!!”) I know KARD has done some global touring; most recently this year in India iirc. But travel costs are expensive and some of the countries they visit have a lower index cost(?) for tickets, so it’s hard to tell how well they’re doing.

    DSP is obviously going light with the April and Heo Youngji-AKA-KARA promotions, so I don’t know if the company is running at a financial loss, or if KARD is doing well, are just cutting corners now to invest more in the Produce X 101 trainee batch.

    Like

    • I am going to bet that KARD have earned precisely zero. Maybe slightly more soon with the Asics sneakers CF. They haven’t really charted on the Gaon, so there is no resonance with the local market, and the overseas market is more expensive to penetrate. Someone from Fiestar was recently interviewed, and she said that she never received a paycheck. Someone somewhere will helpful compile these interviews for us to marvel at.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I really love this band, I love “You in me”. But I have to give them a 3. This song is not enjoyable, it is so loud, they have amazing voices and I cant even hear them with this song. Nooo, please come back. Oh na na is such a god song, you in me, trust, not this shitty path T.T

    Like

  7. For those who like the chanting percussive elements of this song, may I suggest a far better song:
    Bang Diggy Bang Bang by Bizzy TigerJK Yoonmirae (credited as “MFBTY”)

    Like

  8. Frankly, Mr. BiasList, I don’t understand how you fail understand the inherent poetry of “litty dumb litty / bang the drum.” Smh.

    In all seriousness, this is some of the most purely clattery kpop that we’ve heard in a long time. I know that in a post-Bang Bang Bang world, we will probably never quite be free of this sound, but “Dumb Litty” honestly excels in being not only generic, but wholly unpleasant. I don’t want to be this negative about KARD, but at least their trop house releases contained things such as (a) songwriting (b) listenable textures, and (c) more songwriting; “Dumb Litty” is just on a new level of non-songness.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.