Review

Buried Treasure: MCND – Bumpin’

Most of the time, a k-pop group’s title track is the best song on their album. But, sometimes b-sides deserve recognition too. In the singles-oriented world of K-pop, I want to spotlight some of these buried treasures and give them the props they deserve.


MCND’s Earth Age mini album has followed in the footsteps of many minis this month. It’s the latest K-pop release where the title track has been eclipsed by its b-sides. Earth Age’s core sound is relatively consistent throughout, yet many of the b-sides play around with it in interesting ways. Breathe enlists rhythmic guitar and dynamic synth. Galaxy brings in some very effective dubstep touches. And then there’s Bumpin’ (쾅쾅쾅), which sits at the tail end of the album and points toward a potentially awesome avenue for the group to further develop their style.

Right from the start, Bumpin’ is a refreshing surprise. It delivers a walloping playground of percussion, from an incredibly catchy synth-bass loop to thundering stomps. The rhythm becomes more complex and addictive as the song continues, bringing in extra synth flourishes and additional layers of percussion. What I love most about this approach is the wide spectrum of tones used to develop the groove. It gives the production a fullness that feels very satisfying. And given such a great beat to work with, the hip-hop verses have a more diverse appeal than in title track nanana.

While Bumpin’s chorus doesn’t reinvent the wheel, it’s painted with a funky vocal arrangement very reminiscent of K-pop luminaries SHINee. It harnesses a simple melody and elevates it with a performance that embraces peaks of falsetto to create an engaging sense of rhythm and texture. The song feels like a tribute to eras past, yet never feels stuck behind the trend. It would have made an incredible single.

 Hooks 8
 Production 10
 Longevity 9
 Bias 9
 RATING 9

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8 thoughts on “Buried Treasure: MCND – Bumpin’

  1. Oh yes, I hear that Shinee vibe in those layered vocals.. I love it. Also has a bit of an NCT/SuperM feel in the chanting part. It’ s a great combination of great stuff. I know I say it way too often but, if only THIS would have been the title track! It’ s just too good to be stuck as a bside.

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  2. The vocals are all very SM, whether NCT SuperM, or Shinee, or all of the above. Some combo of Why so serious, Sherlock, and One Minute Back. There is even someone in there doing their best Taemin impression from time to time.

    It is a lot better than the lead single, but I don’t know if that makes it alt lead title. The instrumental is a bit lacking – I don’t know if its a 10 in production with an instrumental that is serviceable.

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    • For me, the instrumental is perfection. It’s so groovy, with a fullness to the bass that we rarely hear in idol pop these days. Given my preference for this style, it might have made more sense to place the “10” in the bias column… but same score either way.

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