[Year-End Special] #10: Red Velvet – Dumb Dumb

“평소같이 하면 되는데 / 또 너만 보면 시작되는 바보 같은 춤”

Following the footsteps of f(x), Lim Kim, and other hipster-crack K-pop acts, in exchange for the bloodshed of SM’s senior groups, the Red Velvet Gods (as fans like to say) blessed us with two solid leading tracks that captured the hearts and keyboards of music critics abroad.

“Dumb Dumb” is an exciting whirlwind of a listen, like a train urgently rushing through a station, as warped horn samples and a strong hip hop beat and cowbells undercut the smooth and powerful vocals of Red Velvet and a rap section laden with references to Michael Jackson.

The MV is equally as crazy and frantic and possibly filled with symbolism and metaphors, as fans conspire over what the MV truly means. For some, the MV is an allegory for the K-pop industry while, for others, it is a colorful and inspired lookbook, with every frame worthy of being a photograph hung on the walls of any aspiring hipster’s house.

For me, “Dumb Dumb” was my summer banger and the album it belongs to, “The Red”, is also a treasure trove of K-pop gems that surely helped fill the void of the lack of a summer f(x) release (thankfully, f(x)’s release this year fits fall more to compensate). “Dumb Dumb” is an unabashedly fun song that is as thrilling a roller coaster ride of a listen as it is inspired and vibrant.

Honorable Mentions: Ice Cream Cake | A- | Another exciting rush of a leading track that is lush and replete with a lively collection of electronic buzzes, music box jingles, and rich harmonies.

Anything on “The Red” | A | If I had better time management skills this year, I would have spazzed about it in a review. I personally recommend “Huff N Puff”, “Red Dress”, “Don’t U Wait No More”, and “Cool World”.

Final Rating: A | An inspired and exhilarating listen; be prepared to embark on a bumpy ride, filled with twists and turns and ugly aprons

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