Making this solo comeback last week was Youngjae with his second mini-album and title track, both of which are titled SUGAR. This is his second comeback following his solo debut with Vibin’ in October of last year (his first was via the winter single Walk With Me, which I didn’t review). Youngjae’s solo comeback also follows GOT7’s recent long awaited return to the industry, to which Youngjae and all his fellow members participated in, after almost 1.5 years absence from the industry.
SUGAR has yet to really catch on like how Vibin’ did. But more time could change that. And based on what I am going to be saying in this review, I expect that it will. Nonetheless, SUGAR has proven to be an extremely enjoyable track. The funky pop instrumental made up of pronounced guitars was quite consistent throughout the song. While consistency has been an issue in the past for some songs, the consistency issue is not really a thing here in SUGAR. This is thanks to the guitar work, which is so vibrant and punchy that it offsets any consistency concerns. That being said, there is also a bit of trap thrown into the mix for the second verse and finger clicks in the bridge that gives some variety to the background. SUGAR features strong vocals from Youngjae, whose tone matches the vibrancy of the guitar in the instrumental. It really allows him to pop out in the song. He also adds a bit of sweetness to the song, which works really well with the title of the song. His ad-libs at the end channels a fair bit of energy, as well, creating a dynamic end. Youngjae also tries his hand at rapping for the second verse. It was a fair effort. I do think maybe a featuring rapper could have made it more dynamic and enticing, but Youngjae did well on his own. I quite like how he handled the ‘That’s how you do it‘ line midway through the second verse. The melodies of SUGAR were also quite catchy and enjoyable. Overall, SUGAR is a nice follow-up single to his debut track.
The video starts off a bit dark, with Youngjae awakening from a slumber at the dinner table, just in time to see a female presence leave the room. He has a flashback of the nights event, and runs after the female. We are then shown what happened. The day started very bright and outside. He seeks the attention of the female character from the beginning of the video, trying his best to look cool (which I personally think he achieved, but that might be my bias for him talking now). He then throws a classy dinner party. He is so infatuated by the female character (as expressed in the lyrics). and continues his cool streak that he fails to catch on her efforts of putting him to sleep. The motive is unclear, but I guess she and her friends want to have a good time at the expense of Youngjae (who in the credits is shown asleep, while everyone else has fun at his party). I quite enjoyed the chemistry that Youngjae had with the camera throughout the video, looking quite confident and cheeky. The settings were also really nice.
Like in the music video, I quite like how charismatic he is on stage. It creates a strong atmosphere for the performance. Aside from that, I liked the energy he and the dancers channel throughout the performance. Nothing really stood out, until the end, where he pushes through the dancer dramatically. That I felt was a cool moment.
Song – 8/10
Music Video – 8.5/10
Performance – 7.5/10
Overall Rating – 8.1/10