Song Review: Mamamoo – Dingga

I have great affection for the members of Mamamoo, yet it’s been ages since I’ve loved one of their singles. Their music has always had a tongue-in-cheek, comical aspect, and that willingness to poke fun at themselves has become one of their charms. But, this approach has also made some of their comebacks feel a little throwaway. It’s not that the girls aren’t working hard (they are!). It’s just that too much of their recent material has settled into the same groove.

Now, pre-releases aren’t supposed to carry the same weight as actual comebacks, but new single Dingga (딩가딩가) is a little too slight for its own good. Mamamoo has embraced K-pop’s burgeoning retro trend in their own way. For Dingga, this means disco strings and heaps of rhythm guitar. Throw in some bongo drums for good measure and you’ve got a nice, quirky instrumental. The track delivers a satisfying dancefloor-ready energy. In another reality, this production would have acted as the perfect springboard for a robust melody and harmony-rich performance. Imagine how amazing Dingga could have become if its instrumental had paired with a refrain as dynamic as 2014’s Mr. Ambiguous or – dare I say it – 2016’s Decalcomanie?

Instead, Dingga is content to remain a silly little pop track, driven by the girls’ charisma rather than a unique hook. Its chorus is simple and repetitive, delivered in the same nonchalant manner that characterized most of last year’s Hip. Mamamoo are cool enough to make this work, but I wish that Dingga felt more like a moment. Last month’s CF track Wanna Be Myself hinted at the Mamamoo sound I first fell in love with. Dingga could do with more of those airy high notes and fleshed-out melodies.

 Hooks 7
 Production 8
 Longevity 8
 Bias 7

16 thoughts on “Song Review: Mamamoo – Dingga

  1. This is a very grown up pop song. In the US, there are a shed load of pop songs about going out with friends for drinks and fun, but I can’t think of any other mainstream kpop song that is like this, besides Hwasa with Loco a couple years ago that was a hit for her. (Sure, there is probably some indie artist with all of 20k views. Or an older sunbae like say oh Drunken Tiger.)

    Its actually refreshing, and a new take (for kpop) on a mature theme girl group song. I don’t think any other mainstream kpop group could pull this off. Go down your mental list, who else would could should come out with a drinking with friends song. Big Bang, We like to Party = There is one. I don’t think SuJu would – too many ELF fans in Muslim countries. The younger hoobaes, well they are too young and possibly underage. I have a mental long short list of maybe’s leaning probably not’s.

    Song itself is OK for me. If it came around, I would not skip it.

    I became a Solar bias recently, which was cemented with her “Spit it out” from April which became a serious guilty pleasure for me. But here, for me, its all about Moonbyul. Bias wrecker!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Overall I find it too laid back. The repeated phrase chorus is something any other group can do (and so many have done it). I’d rather hear something that only Mamamoo can pull off, you know?

    Liked by 1 person

    • This! Mamamoo (and some other groups) have a certain confidence and/or very good vocal skills, and I would like to hear them deliver something that plays on those strengths. Like you said- would love to see more of those ‘something only they can do’ songs.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Can’t believe I’m saying this but I’m lowkey getting tired of the 70s or “retro” inspired music trend that’s being going on in kpop this last six months. Hell, not just in kpop, Dua Lipa’s disco inspired album aged too quickly for me. I love disco and 70s music in general (personally I would welcome witj open arms a 70s style rock revival) but I feel this year’s “70s retro” releases play it too save and are just basically generic pop songs with typical overused “70s sounds”. Where’s the bombastic stuff????

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yep! The retro elements being used are the bland disco generic phrases, the disco filler that no one remembers. No one is picking up on the bombastic disco and funk from the late 70’s, the really truly whoop it up on the dance floor, like Commodore’s “Brick House”, or even the theatrical drama of “I will survive”, or the high boogie of “Disco Inferno”. Or the crazy vocals of any Bee Gees, viz “Stayin Alive”.

      Two words: Village People.
      Village People, people!

      Instead they are all borrowing from the bland stuff.

      Liked by 1 person

      • this just made me imagine a kpop group releasing something like “macho man” or “you can’t stop the music” and i’m not gonna lie, I think i’d thoroughly enjoy it.

        Liked by 1 person

          • I do so love the Sexy Zone. This sounds like every Super Junior trot and Super Show show song ever, such as “Rokkugo” and last year’s Super Show 8 all jazz hands “Show”.

            Super Junior did cover YMCA, of course they did, Super Show 1. You can buy it on itunes and have your dj sonny boy play it every single friggin day after being picked up at the YMCA after care.


      • YESS!!! Yes to everu artist mention. No one nowadays releases that type of ridiculous but memorable pop songs that Village People released. From that era, I’m a great fan of Donna Summer. Don’t think we’ll ever get anything close to their hits nowadays.


  4. Perhaps the most difficult part of listening to music is knowing what a group has previously released (though this is the bias list so a little bias is warranted). I personally like to think of Mamamoo’s discography as two parts: pre-four seasons and post-four seasons. I don’t think one of them is better than the other but I also can’t say that I don’t ever wish for them to return to their You’re the Best/Decalcomanie/Mr. Ambiguous sound. But I think if they kept the same sound their entire career, people would find a reason to hate on them (a one trick pony?).

    Either way, I think their post-four seasons music tend to follow the trends, which is mostly that synth sound. I’m not a musician so I’m not sure how to word this but the production sounds less full which honestly makes for easy listening. Maybe I’m just craving that sound because this is a solid 8/8.25 for me and I just love any song that has Mamamoo having fun in their music video. I enjoy it a lot more than Gogobebe and Hip, maybe even Wanna Be Myself. It’s not as straight forward and I personally enjoy the hook/chorus. And little things like how Wheein sang 1:30, the dance break was surprisingly not jarring (and the cup noises were a nice addition), the silence before the last chorus was a good change, and I particularly like Moonbyul’s second rap.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I just discover this blog and I’m loving it.
    But I feel like the high expectations vocally specifically is what made their new songs as underwhelming, but for a group like mamamoo that proved their vocal abilities you need to look their behind their decisions behind choosing a commercial release .. dingga is honestly my least favourite in this album but I can’t blame the artists for choosing “easy-for-ear” songs as a release and I mean any other artist not just mamamoo, but for me with mamamoo even with dingga being the easy song .. their vocals are capable of gaining your attention, and I like to listen to all of the album when I don’t like a song from an artist I like so I’d know if they provide something for my taste or anything musically appealing to me.
    I’m really curious about your opinion on their entire album.


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