Song Review: Kai (EXO) – Mmmh

EXO’s Kai has been primed for a solo debut for years now. As one of the group’s most dynamic performers, it feels like the sky’s the limit when it comes to the showstoppers he could deliver on his own. And, the pre-release teaser film for his debut album harnessed that theatricality in exciting ways. Yet, judging from the short clips alone, I was frustrated that Mmmh (음) would become his first title track. Of all the clips, it sounded the most one-note.

EXO have delivered plenty of standout mid-tempo r&b tracks before, and I think that songs like Mmmh can really pop if given a great hook and dynamic vocal. Just look at Sweet Lies or What Is Love. However, Kai is more of a performer than a vocalist, and I don’t think this material suits him best. He’s got a solid voice, yet his delivery here is lacking the texture that might otherwise compensate for the rather insubstantial melody.

To Mmmh’s credit, the song knows what it wants to be. The simple, trap-infused groove is established immediately and never really strays. The one exception occurs during the bridge, when it appears that Mmmh is going to climb into some dramatic vocal flourish. This never quite materializes, as the song is too indebted to its chill, sensual mood to do anything particularly interesting. Instead, Mmmh delivers a catchy – but repetitive – hook ad nauseum, relying on Kai’s magnetism as a dancer to bring a spark of energy to the track. This is fine, easy-listening r&b, but I would expect more from an idol of Kai’s caliber.

 Hooks 7
 Production 7
 Longevity 8
 Bias 8


28 thoughts on “Song Review: Kai (EXO) – Mmmh

  1. Of course I’m biased as an Exo-L but I liked this song. It’s weird since I don’t usually like these types of songs, slow and one-note. But I felt like it fit Kai extremely well tbh.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I honestly like it. Sure, the song doesn’t have any big moments nor it is ambitious, but I still think is a good R&B inspired track, it’s a style that really suits Kai and, as an exo-l, it’s a welcomed release as Kai’s waited debut. I do agree the mini album has much stronger tracks like Nothing on Me, Reason or Amnesia. The album is general is also pretty good, every track is R&B infused or just pure R&B but still has something that differentiates one from the others.

    I give “MMMH” a 7.5~8/10, I think it’ll be a grower and I already have the chorus stuck in my head.
    A 9/10 for the album, maybe it’s because I’m a big fan of R&B or I’m just biased, but it’s one of my favorite album releases of this half of the year.


  3. SM gave out 3 future bass influenced song this year ALL to solo artists, and as I repeated a billion times now I think it is just time to admit that future bass sucks and move on.

    Thing is looking back all the RV future bass b-sides are ok. “I Just” is very memorable and “Uncover” is passable. Maybe just dump your stockpile of future bass songs into their b sides I guess


    • Future bass is enjoyable when well done but I get what you mean, it’s tiring to hear the same sound throughout the year. I feel the same way about the “retro” or 70s-inspired style.


  4. Gosh I really really love the concept of this mini album and this songs video. Do I love the song? No. But I do appreciate the Bieber Yummy vibes combined with SM futurism.
    The spacehero vibes are very very cool and Kai’s visuals are genuinely inspiring.

    I enjoyed the release and have listened to it a couple times today. While it’s a genuinely midtempo affair there are some tracks I’m really enjoying on it. Nothing on Me, Amnesia and Ride or Die (personal favorite) succeed at the atmosphere and aesthetic that the project aims for.


    • Lmao, it’s the second EXO solo release that has been compared with Bieber’s disgusting Yummy. I get the similiarities in Candy but I genuinly don’t see it here.


  5. Ok so today 3 songs were released. Got7’s last piece, Kai’s mmmh and enhypen’s given taken. I honestly like mmmh. This song is slow but very sexy at the same time. The chorus was really really good. This is the kind of song to set u in a mood. It is satisfying in a weird way. I would give it an 8.75. About got7’s last piece, I LOVED it. It has to be my fav out of all three of them. They killed the chorus, prechorus, bridge everything. But enhypen’s given taken was a meh


  6. While I do like the song and it grew on me the more I listened, I was expecting so much more. Not going to lie, I was a little underwhelmed. It does what it needs to as an r&b track but for KAI’s debut, I felt like there was something missing. Still really enjoyable though


  7. So I know that Kai is a great performer but idk what I feel about him as a solo artist. I listened to this without watching the video because at the end of the day the dance or visuals doesn’t matter if I’m going to put a song on a playlist. I understand the musical choices, I understand why he delivers the song the way he does, but I’m still not sold that this is title track worthy.


  8. got treated out by both of my fav groups (g7 and exo) releasing great music today! honestly i think kai being a dancer rather than a singer makes him selling this title track a triumph rather than being just whelming. i like how lowkey it is, and the bridge is my favorite part.

    definitely (no matter how you feel about the album, which i found to be a solid collection of songs that exceeded my expectations; i love amnesia and ride or die a ton) this song in particular but all of the mini songs are going to be defined by a subdued / dramatic performance that will be better watching him perform live, but it’s a feat that somehow his voice has gotten less grating and suitable for regular singing. a lot of potential for him, and i’m really excited / happy for kolo being a success!


  9. Sure, technically Mmmh does not leave much impact, but considering his solo from a dancer-turned-solo than vocal-turned solo, I think it suits him pretty well.

    And I definitely agree that the Buried Treasure on here would be “Nothing on Me,” but there are some B-sides that come really really close, like Reason or Ride or Die. I also didn’t expect to fall head over heels over a Kai solo, so that’s a huge plus

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I feel like the song was written with live performance and dance in mind. Kai can do his killer body waves (and not worry about having to sing) while the layered “Mmm mmms” provide the chorus. I think I’ll mainly want to listen to this song while watching him perform, tbh.

    Also what’s the deal with all these cowboy hats? First Taemin, then Yeonjun, and now Kai (who wore a similar cowboy hat + skinny black turtleneck combo as Yeonjun).


  11. What, exactly, is Kai’s caliber other than being from one of the more famous boygroups? His dancing is incredibly overhyped. If you watch his predebut teasers you’ll see that his only growth as a performer is that now he has that obnoxious smirk in every single performance. Oh, and he shows his abs now. His vocals in this album are aggressively mediocre, he most certainly has not put in the work to pull a Taemin. But, abs.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I’ve gone ahead and deleted several of your comments, and will block your account altogether if you continue to insult people. That’s not acceptable on this site.


  12. I don’t think anyone will read this, but I came back to this review just to say that oddly enough, this has been the only kpop song stuck in my head these past few days. I still don’t think that’s it’s particularly innovative or even excellent, but eh something worked for me.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. I give Kai’s song Mmmh a 10/10. He worked so hard for his solo and he deserves recognition, which is why he’s getting it. Why are some of you so mean about your comments? If you don’t like the song, just say you don’t like it and move on, but no, you want to talk about him as a person. Talking about his dancing skills and what not. Lord..! People are so pathetic!!!


  14. I love everything about this song and the entire Mini Album. Kai is art and ‘Mmmh’ starting off the album/era is perfect. The song suits him very well and fits perfectly. I also love how cohesive it is. It’s a story and it makes sense. I love that this is the vibe for his first mini-album. So proud of him and can’t wait for more.


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