Today we’ll be taking a look at F(x)’s cool, new track, Rum Pum Pum Pum. Quite the title.
I’m going to kick this review off by saying that I don’t know why I found myself surprised that after such a unique, artsy and interesting teaser, Rum Pum Pum Pum still wound up with a typical SM box MV. This doesn’t mean the MV for this track isn’t good or interesting in its own way, it’s just that setting-wise it hasn’t changed a great deal from other MV’s released by SM, which felt a little disappointing as it seemed like we might be seeing some kind of original and artistic concept this time around.
But moving on from that, the actual concept of this MV is the bright, quirky and entertaining style that F(x) does so well; eclectic and fun outfits, rotating shots that make it seem as if the room is spinning, and bright sets that all come together to create a really cool and quirky concept. There’s no storyline for this video, so not much happens aside from dancing and solo shots, but I think this video still matches the sound of the song perfectly, and seeing as the song has such an interesting sound, a storyline could take the attention away from it. Despite there being no plot, there does seem to be one key theme throughout the MV, which is the metal/crystal flowers that the girls find from time-to-time. It doesn’t really seem to mean anything immediately obvious, but it’s looks pretty cool.
The outfits and fashion used in this MV are bright, loud, and demand attention, but with female artists like Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj pushing the boundaries of what’s acceptable to wear, any outfits in Rum Pum Pum Pum may seem a little tame in comparison and won’t look strange by UK standards which is sometimes a worry with kpop. A fair amount of the clothes worn in this MV look like you could buy them from TopShop or Asos.com which might appeal to people who like to keep up with trends. There is a set of tartan outfits, sports jerseys, clear PVC jackets and skirts, and neon bright colours, amongst others. Some of the outfits are also reminiscent of the 90’s which is in fashion in the UK right now, and as such might again attract some fashion-loving potential viewers. There are also some edgy accessory choices, which isn’t unusual for F(x), such as Amber’s gemmed eyebrow and two different coloured contact lenses and Krystal’s bright red hair. These extra touches really add to the unusual and cool feel of the concept.
UK Potential: 4/5
None of the moves used are hugely over the top, and the whole routine looks cool and effortless. I really liked that the whole of the choreography isn’t all five of the members doing the same dance, as at some points throughout the routine they break apart and one or two members have slightly altered choreography. This keeps the dance looking quite curious and adds to the quirky feel of the overall concept.
In keeping with the title that reminds me toy soldiers, some of the more notable moves used are salutes and the imitation of beating a drum. The moves overall seem to be easily emulated, and there are some pretty interesting looking arm movements which should help keep Rum Pum Pum Pum memorable.
UK Potential: 4/5
Rum Pum Pum Pum has the cool, unique and quirky sound that we’ve come to expect from F(x). It combines a real mish-mash of music, such as different types of percussion, some funky guitar riffs and even some synthesised sounds too. When putting it into words, it seems like all these different sounds coming together in one song should have been too much, but the production of the track is spot on and this unusual mixture just sounds so interesting and distinctive. In some ways, it almost sounds a little slowed down and dark as it’s not as cute or light as a lot of songs that we hear from other female kpop groups, but this just serves to give it an added edgy vibe.
There are no high or difficult notes belted out in this track, and the singing sounds quite hushed which makes it a little intriguing and keeps the song sounding cool and effortless. There is also some interesting vocal layering at points throughout the song which gives the track an added unique sound, and should draw in potential listeners and keep this track pretty memorable.
If you check out the translated lyrics for Rum Pum Pum Pum, this song is actually a little strange; it uses the metaphor of wisdom teeth for the experience of first love. Strange, but I like it. And, perhaps it’s best for once that potential listeners won’t know what they are singing about; maybe a song about teeth is a little too weird for an introduction to kpop.
Surprisingly, there is very little English used in Rum Pum Pum Pum, and the only parts of the lyrics in English are ‘attention, boys’ and ‘yeah’. Seeing as F(x) contains two English speakers, the English is always good, and that’s no different this time around despite the lack of it in this track.
The sound of this song is quite unlike most songs you hear in the charts here in the UK, but I think this would help make it memorable and set it apart from the heavily synthesised pop songs that are in the top 40 these days.
UK Potential: 4/5
Highlight: – Amber’s gemmed eyebrow. No, really! I love it.
Overall UK Potential: 12/15 – Rum Pum Pum Pum has scored pretty high on the likelihood of doing well if it were to be released here in the UK, despite containing little-to-no English for people to sing along with. The quirky and effortless feel of this song matches so well with the dance, fashion and overall concept, and it’s just such an interesting song that I think it could potentially hold quite a widespread appeal to people here in the UK!
What do you guys think? Do you like this song? Haven’t watched the video yet? Check it out here!