It’s been two years since Somi’s solo debut, giving us bops so infectious that up till today, “Birthday” will pop in my head once in a while and I would end up putting it on repeat for a whole week. While Somi’s past releases were absolute bangers, “Dumb Dumb” is underwhelming and goes nowhere. Everything unique about Somi and her expression of the self is tossed out of the window both lyrically and musically, and it seems as if THEBLACKLABEL threw together elements from popular songs haphazardly when they realized it was time for Somi’s annual comeback. Even the MV is pretty half-baked – it tries to tell us a story, but there were too many contrasting moods and atmospheres that led to its ending being pretty unsatisfying. “Dumb Dumb” isn’t a bad song, and neither does it have a bad MV – everything is relatively decent, but that’s the problem. It’s only decent.
“Dumb Dumb” has a great chorus – it’s groovy, alluring, and catchy. Somi’s vocals become more monotonous, but such a stylistic choice only adds to the sleek and mature vibe in the chorus. The dance scenes that pair with the chorus are also stunning – she’s sexy, seductive, and checks off every box that screams girl boss. Even the lyrics are harsh, with Somi revealing that it was all part of her plan to act differently to lure her love interest in, and that he’s a “Dumb Dumb” for falling for it. The end of the song is the climax, where it switches into an anthem and really picks up the pace, ending the song on a high.
However, as mentioned earlier, everything is pretty half-baked. Although the climatic outro ends the song on a high, it’s pretty short lived, and the listener finds themselves wanting more, simply because it feels as if the song is not done. The song’s verses and choruses have different personalities, but these verses are not memorable. While they sound bright and cheery, they fall flat as they fail to showcase Somi’s vocal talents, and it never really picks up. The chorus is great, as said before, but it’s not exactly special either. Elements of the chorus are reminiscent of Sunmi’s “Gashina” and Jennie’s “Solo”, which do not come as a surprise when you realise that “Dumb Dumb” was produced by Teddy Park, who also produced the aforementioned songs.
The MV itself is nothing special. It opens with Somi as a child, who then transitions into Somi herself, who is now in high school. During the verses, we see that Somi is trying to act in a way that would capture the attention of her love interest, but fails to do so because she is shy. When we see her make a bold move on him in the cafeteria, we find out that it was only her daydreaming about what she wants to do. This gives us the impression that Somi is playing an awkward teenage girl, trying to learn how to flirt or find an opportunity to talk to her love interest, but is ultimately unable to do so. Another time we see her trying to flirt with said love interest is towards the end of the song, where she purposely bumps into him so that she would drop her books, and they would pick them up together in typical teen rom-com fashion. Yet when this scene is being shown, we hear the following lines:
Hey dumb dumb
Knew you’d fall for me,
All my plans they’re done done
Hey dumb dumb
Even if I don’t try now
Tell me that I’m the one one
Before this, the viewer knows that Somi is only acting a certain way to gain the interest of her crush, much like everyone else when they were in high school. The lyrics in the chorus tell us that everything she does is for her crush as well. However, the ending does a 180 and reveals to us that this was her plan all along, to get her crush to fall in love with her and be obsessed with her even when the facade fades. At this point, I was left questioning whether Somi even likes the person she’s trying so hard for, or if she was just bored and wanted the attention from an attractive guy. These lyrics contradict the MV as well, because what’s happening on screen does not match what is being said. Somi is happy that her crush asks her to come to his game, she has a picture of him in her locker, and her friends are hyping her up, telling her that her crush likes her back. So, what’s the truth, Somi? Do you like him or not?
This also contradicts Somi’s past releases, which all placed emphasis on self-expression and being comfortable in one’s skin. Although “What You Waiting For”’s lyrics were about waiting for love, the MV showed Somi breaking herself out of this cycle and being free, suggesting that she was tired of waiting for someone who did not care about her. For “Dumb Dumb” to throw away these ideas and have Somi dumb herself down to attract her crush is disappointing. Even when he does fall for her, she acts disinterested, and the line “Even if I don’t try now / Tell me I’m the one” feels manipulative, because he clearly fell for someone else instead of who Somi actually is.
“Dumb Dumb” is decent, if you don’t look too closely at the details. Its chorus will be stuck in your head, and it has a fun enough MV that keeps you interested. However, everything is half-baked in terms of the message, the storyline present in the MV, and the song will always feel like it has been cut short. Needless to say, if you focus too much on it, you’ll just get frustrated.
(YouTube; Images and Lyrics via THEBLACKLABEL)