When K-pop groups announce a disbandment or hiatus, that usually means a quick end to activities and – more often than not – diminishing returns when it comes to solo work. However, GOT7 have remained quite active after leaving JYP Entertainment in 2021. Its members have all been busy with music and other projects, and the full group even made an unlikely return last month.
Now, it’s time for vocalist Youngjae’s first comeback. He impressed last October with the groovy Vibin, and Sugar continues that upbeat, funk-inspired sound. I like this sonic space for Youngjae. The slick sound suits his vocal tone, and its nice to see a soloist embrace upbeat material. Sugar’s guitar-assisted beat is steady and satisfying, bopping along with flair and texture. It’s not the most idiosyncratic production I’ve ever heard, but sometimes all you need is a good vibe.
The song’s melody is similarly modest. Despite some fantastic vocal turns, the hooks don’t leave much of an impression. Verses and chorus blend together in a natural way, which fuels Sugar’s consistent energy but makes it hard to establish the peaks and valleys that make a song stand out. This is most evident during the chorus, which feels more like a series of ad-libs than a taut, memorable hook. Because of this, the track succumbs to a workmanlike quality that keeps it from breaking out as a funk-pop highlight. Still, “workmanlike” doesn’t have to be a negative quality. I appreciate Sugar’s focus, and it’s a great showcase for Youngjae’s always-welcome voice.