Over the past few years, Apink have enjoyed a K-pop resurgence, pairing with producers Black Eyed Pilseung for a newly matured sound that has connected with a lot of listeners. Though I wasn’t as sold on last year’s %% as every other K-pop fan seemed to be, I can appreciate the group’s transformation. In addition to following the alliterative song title trend of 2020, new single Dumhdurum (덤더럼) continues this promising maturation of the Apink sound.
Right away, it’s so refreshing to hear a girl group sing in a manner that doesn’t resort to chirpy charm appeals. At this stage in their career, it makes sense that Apink would opt for a more sophisticated performance style, and this approach helps Dumhdurum stand out. The girls offer a wispy, restrained delivery that fits with the track’s airy appeal. Dumhdurum opens with a catchy synth loop that becomes the driving force of its instrumental in a similar way to 2018’s I’m So Sick. The production isn’t as effortlessly catchy this time around, but the textures are very satisfying.
Unlike so many recent K-pop singles, Dumhdurum never rushes to get to the next beat drop or trap interlude. It unveils organically, without the kind of sonic roadblocks that would usually stall momentum. This kind of arrangement might seem quaint to some listeners, but it gives the track a sturdy through-line that will likely benefit it in the long run. With that said, I wish the melody hit just a bit harder. The track maintains its breezy cool with an effortless charm, but its chorus could do with a more impactful hook. It hinges so strongly on the central synth loop, without elevating the song to a new level. Still, Dumhdurum’s addictive vibe is enough to make it a spring standout. Time will tell whether it’ll go on to eclipse I’m So Sick as Apink’s definitive late-career highlight.
Be sure to add your own rating by participating in the poll below!