For a while, it seemed that f(x) was on SM’s back burner. After they were done promoting Electric Shock, the group kind of just…disappeared. Imagine the fan’s reaction when, from out of nowhere, the group announced their return! They are making a comeback with the oddly titled Rum Pum Pum Pum, an odd ball tracks that proves that they might very well still be on SM’s back burner.
I’ve never felt so incredibly torn about a song before. Parts of this song are pure genius, while other elements are just so “meh” that I don’t really care. Most notably, the song has a very interesting beat. They’ve scaled down their colorful electronic beats in favor of a bass heavy sound. Full of snappy drums, clapping percussion, biting snares, and a mysterious guitar riff, the beat is definitely unique. It matches the quirky qualities of the group perfectly!
This song definitely dares to do something different with its beat, but it also takes risks with the vocals. Rum Pum Pum Pum features some really cool vocal layering. These pre-chorus “rounds” are really intriguing, and make the song stand out. While we’ve heard this tactic applied to other Kpop songs, it has never been done nearly this well.
Unfortunately, that’s where the praise for the song ends. It’s got a cool beat and some neat vocal arrangements, but little else. The song’s chorus falls flat without having any real hook. It just kind of simmers there, against the beat, hoping to be noticed. Vocally, each of the girls sound so restrained that they practically sound half dead.
Seriously, its sad when your group’s weakest vocalist could sing the whole song start to finish as a solo. It’s been awhile since we’ve seen Luna belt it out, and I’m starting to wonder if she’s still got it. Amber brings some energy with her rapping, but for gods sake, why the hell is she still rapping? I’ll never understand how SM can be the top agency in the industry and still produce such terrible rappers.
The song’s robotic choreography is pretty cool, but is this a case of just going through the motions? Like most other SM artists, f(x) makes full use of their visuals. Unfortunately, this a huge case of “been there, seen that.” The music video is essentially three minutes of Krystal showing off her new hair. Once again, the girls dance around in an oddly lit box, dressed up in neon colors. Maybe its time for a new video director?
Ultimately, this song dares to be different, but just isn’t interesting enough to really stick the landing. It’s not catchy like Electric Shock, not edgy like Nu ABO, and its not fun like Pinocchio. Its just….there. Is f(x) losing their edge?
Final Score: 2/5