Song Review: Somi – Dumb Dumb

Somi - Dumb DumbSomi’s solo career has existed in drips and drabs, with no more than a single comeback each year since debut. All three songs have been co-produced by Teddy, whose familiar touch has crafted most of BLACKPINK’s discography (along with so many other YG artists). As the years have gone on, his ‘beat drop chorus + chanted climax’ schtick has become predictable and tired, and Dumb Dumb conforms to this template. But, it flips expectations by transforming its hindrances into strengths.

With a title like “Dumb Dumb,” I was prepared to hate this. It conjures a sense of bratty obnoxiousness that’s long overstayed its welcome in K-pop. But, the performance isn’t nearly as affected as I would’ve thought. More surprisingly, its most dreaded segments turn out to be highlights. When it comes to modern Teddy productions, the good stuff tends to be found in the verses and pre-chorus. Dumb Dumb’s plonky verses do nothing for me, and there’s hardly a pre-chorus to be found.

Instead, the track thrives when it hits its catchphrasey beat drop. The instrumental streamlines, pulsing with a rumbling electro groove that gives the track a sleek and powerful makeover. The vocal becomes monotone — spoken rather than sung. But, this hook slithers forward with ease, hitting all the right beats. Had the entire song sounded like this, I’d probably be raving about Somi’s transformation. Unfortunately, this brief highlight is surrounded by verses that feel extraneous. But when the climactic outro arrives (right on schedule!), it hits its mark and ends Dumb Dumb on a high. All of this is stuffed in less than two and a half minutes, making it hard for the track to fully explore any of its ideas.

 Hooks 8
 Production 8
 Longevity 8
 Bias 8

41 thoughts on “Song Review: Somi – Dumb Dumb

  1. (There is a pre-chorus! You blinked! You missed it!)

    It feels like no one at the agency is thinking hard enough about what sort of artist Somi should be to differentiate herself, and so she gets socked with songs like these. The song seems OK on the surface, but really is a pastiche of two or more different songs and concepts in one.

    But here is the kicker – I think I am hearing it cycle through the same three chords for the entire song, verse and chorus included. The pre-chorus adds one more. So it really is the same thing with different decoration, a one idea song. Go on, hum the whistly hook over the verse, see it works!

    Darling daughter has listened to Somi’s “Birthday” on my ipod a lot. I can see the play count. I don’t know what playlist it is on, or if she seeks it out, and maybe the English lyric “Oops you’re not invited, Yeah, your not invited” resonates with the early teen set. This one might be worth $1.29 just to get her off that song.

    Liked by 4 people

    • I’ve been out of my early teens for about 25 years, thank god, but for some reason that “Oops, you’re not invited” lives in my head rent free, which I believe is something the kids say these days. “What You Waiting For” is fun, too, but “Dumb, Dumb” just doesn’t have enough fun to make it on the playlist.

      Liked by 4 people

      • Thank heavens I never downloaded “What you waiting for”. Almost all the chorus and the sparkly bedazzled backhoe imagery is living rent free in my brain, alas, despite not hearing the song in a year.

        I may as well list others on darling daughter’s frequent list, in roughly descending order:
        Lots of Dreamcatcher, esp Scream, Odd Eye, Poison Love
        Lots of Akmu, esp Alien, How People Move, Dinosaur
        All of the Itzy’s
        MONT Anti-Hero
        P1Harmony Siren
        SuJu Super Clap
        Pentagon Cosmo (in Japanese)
        Golcha One-Lucid Dream
        GDragon Heartbreaker
        TST Mind Control
        SuJu Super Girl (in Chinese)
        Wayv Electric Hearts (in Chinese)
        Ghost9 Reborn
        BDC Moonrider
        Block B Yesterday
        Stray Kids Stop
        Mamamoo HIP

        Mind Control? What are you trying to tell me, girl?!

        Liked by 2 people

  2. and there goes my interest in Somi as a soloist. there’s only so much my liking of an artist and their talent and charisma can do when their label is giving them poor material and not promoting or releasing content at all. 3 songs in over 3 years of signing is a joke and this song as you pointed out is nothing beyond a partway decent chorus. i feel so bad for her but YG has a history of taking promising solo talent and absolutely doing nothing but ruining their careers. Somi deserves far better than the 3 basic blackpink lite songs she’s been given.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. I feel exactly the same way about Dumb Dumb. There just wasn’t enough punch that made a long lasting impact. The chorus is electrifying and gives it a new energy and life, but then it soon fizzles out again in the second verse. Somi herself is so charming and charismatic, and I think her performance saves a lot of the song.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. All of her songs so far have felt like Blackpink scrapes. Both discographies feel identical. ‘Dumb Dumb’ feels like it was made strictly for an American audience and their validation (the same with Blackpink’s ‘The Album’). The piano sounds like it was pulled straight from ‘Solo’, but I’ll give Teddy the benefit of the doubt since it works pretty well here.

    All in all, even with all my critiques, it’s not horrible! The verses are definitely its strengths and the last chorus is the climax the song needed. 7.5/10.

    Liked by 8 people

  5. It is a complete chore to listen to. I feel sorry for Somi, she needs a label to properly give her attention rather than Teddy cast offs. She’s not Blackpink level of fame, she can’t just go off 1 song a year and “make it”.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. the verses feel like the same been there done that instumental in so many YG tracks. I’m so glad the chorus was so strong( Sunmi would eat it up), the verses are just not worth my time. I wish Teddy at least used different textures during them and the pre. This song is like Fri.Sat.Sun by dal shabet, a great chorus surrounded by lazy verses. At least that wasn’t predictable for Dal shabet

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Like everyone else, I feel like the song is just an after-thought given to her just because they realized Somi’s due for her yearly one summer single again (:/). I just feel bad for her…and though she’s been teasing the possibilities of more songs/an album later this year, I’m taking this with a grain of salt given YG’s history (and even if there were to be an album later this year, I just know it’s gonna be a single album with two songs). She definitely deserves more than this.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. To be fair, she seems very involved in her music/comebacks and she looks genuinely happy being in TBL so I don’t know if I can really blame TBL. Anyways, I really like the chorus especially the last chorus although the verses are kinda mediocre. She’s been hinting that this is just a pre-release and she’s releasing an actual album this year so I do hope that happens.

    Liked by 4 people

  9. I feel like this is the best single she’s released so far. Her beautiful blonde hair, her vocals (which seem stronger to me somehow) and that slinky beat in the chorus honestly made me really like it. However I’m pissed there’s no bside or anything. Honestly I always look at The Black Label with a side eye because what are they waiting for? Why hasn’t a mini album been released yet? I really like Somi but gosh has my patience been fully tested by her agency

    Liked by 2 people

  10. The song is so short and its constituent pieces are so disconnected from each other that it honestly feels more like an album sampler than a track. I look forward to hearing the 4-5 songs that this one was assembled from.


  11. I like this one too. I think it’ll grow and grow and grow. i think this might be a sleeper hit.

    It has that…so short you just have to put it on again…feeling

    I really wish the piano wasn’t so lazily driving the verses.
    clearly I’m just happy to have new kpop releases


  12. this might be her weakest single yet… it’s just so bland and even the outro can’t inject life in it. weirdly enough the drop, in my opinion, is the best part of the song which is weird for yg but it works well here. i hope this is only a pre-release tho!


  13. Interestingly, at my first listen I found myself disliking the chorus because it seemed like too abrupt and unexpected a switch-up, but since then I’ve changed my opinion entirely and I agree that the chorus is the most interesting part of this. I still think What You Waiting For is more enjoyable than this one, and I’m disappointed at just how short this is (random tangent here, do most nugu groups get their songs cut short while performing on music shows? I was watching a performance of ACE’s Under Cover the other day and realised they were performing a truncated version, which sucks because that song as a whole is so good). Anyway, back to Somi – I’m still interested in seeing more from her, but sadly I can’t say I’m as excited and positive as I might have been before this string of yearly singles – none of which have really stood out to me.


    • An ACE mention. Plus one heart. Proceed to the next good taste song. Sadly, most of the music shows performances are cut for this one. If you want full performances (and even the performance of B-side!), check the low budget English music show that he is the MC for Pops In Seoul. They have full performances there and I think twice on other music shows… This commonly happens with their comebacks. I thought their increasing sales might permanently change that, but there was a huge drop off between HJZM and Siren;Dawn in sales. Ugh!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. It’s really directed at an western public and if you notice it, they did everything quite weel. The song that can be divided in many parts, each of them easy to be used in tiktok trends, the skinny-blackpink esque look, the american looks in the clothes/school, the whole party… it’s not a time for good songs anymore, but to sell a concept and they did it perfectly. Last year’s single was good for that as well, but they still took the song cohesion too seriously, now it’s clearly not that important. I think that they’ll soon release an album with a couple of short songs to see if they get big numbers.


  15. Am I the only one who thinks the outro (which is by far my favorite part of the song) should’ve just been a second part to the chorus, and we should’ve gotten a bridge and then another repetition of the chorus and post-chorus after? That would’ve added another minute onto the song and given it much more of an impact.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. Oh the rising sense of dread I get in my stomach as a song produced by Teddy gets closer and closer to its chorus…. effervescent. Somi on god we are getting you out of there.

    Liked by 2 people

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