2019 has seen more idol group debuts than any year I can remember, making it difficult for new acts to stand out. BVNDIT have managed to find a burgeoning fan-base despite a sound that isn’t particularly unique. The girls have worked with top-tier songwriters like MosPick and Flow Blow, but their style has remained generically tropical. That continues with new single Dumb, which pairs them with SM Entertainment favorites LDN Noise.
Unfortunately, Dumb sounds like a cast-off from another group, peddled unsuccessfully and passed down to the highest bidder. LDN Noise are accomplished producers with more than a few classics under their belt, but there’s nothing unique or new about this song. In fact, parts of its melody strongly recall Mamamoo’s Egotistic from last year. Its chorus verges dangerously close to a re-write, and loses much of its luster due to this fact.
BVNDIT do what they can to make Dumb interesting. I really appreciate the lower tone of their vocals. Their performance feels refreshingly straightforward and mature, sidestepping quirk for a heftier, harmony-rich delivery that matches the instrumental’s intoxicating swirl. It’s a highly polished, beautifully delivered entry in K-pop’s endless tropical oeuvre, but when it comes down to it Dumb just feels kind of faceless. In a rookie’s debut year, it’s so important to establish exactly what kind of act they are. So far, all I know about BVNDIT is that they deliver solid rehashes of tropical K-pop. With competition coming from every corner of the crowded K-pop marketplace, will this be enough?
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I have several thoughts about this song. First of all, I think it isn’t bad. Better than their songs earlier this spring, whatever they were. Second, yes this sounds like it could be any debut group this year sound. Except, third, yes, it sounds like they rewrote Mamamoo “Egotistic”.
Finally, if one types in Bundit in the search bar, you will get this group and some guy in Thailand named Bundit. Listen up people, the only act that can use unusual characters is P!nk! I am looking at you, Loopd.
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Non gratias tibi aget…
The credits for this album (if we can call two new songs and their old singles) are interesting because every single song on there has a completely different creative team, but at the same time it doesn’t feel like they’re offering up a ton of different styles. I didn’t think that “Hocus Pocus” or “Dramatic” were that distinctive but somehow they still felt like they had more personality than “Dumb,” which I think is maybe the worst song they’ve released.
I think they should just drop the tropical thing entirely and lean into that soulful ballad angle more because those songs are turning out better. The new B-side “Fly” and “My Error” are fantastic r&b and represent a far more interesting niche for them to explore. I get that they’re going for the mainstream Kpop road but I feel like it would be better for them to excel in a niche than to be just kind of okay in a big field.