An ode to the cloying, yet clean, sweetness of spring has been recited by girl group Laboum in their vibrant and playfully poised comeback MV “Sugar Sugar.” Although it was promised that their comeback would have the grace of “maturity,” and be much more collected than last year’s “What about you?” which was featured on the decidedly feminine and innocent Pit-a-Pat, “Sugar Sugar” is wild, quirky and quite audibly the opposite of “mature.”
This is in no way a bad thing, rather I loved both the MV and song Laboum presented; both make you feel genuinely cheerful inside and save any K-pop fan from a most hated preoccupation – debating whether the concept is cliché, overused, or trope-tastic. “Sugar Sugar” has some adorable quips, quotes and celebrity appearances; it wafts towards and overpowers the petit macarons of last autumn, offering the newly arrived spring a cool drink sprinkled with the soft pinkness of leisure, liveliness and laughter.
Is it just me, readers, or do you find Laboum’s use of sweets and pastries in their concepts absolutely charming? I’d like to think that this consistency is yet another feature that distinguishes Laboum from the multitude of girl groups debuting and returning with sweet concepts this spring.
“Sugar Sugar” immediately takes us into the girlishly pleasing world of slumber parties, in which we see Laboum sporting polka dot pajamas, neon-streaked hair and prismatic lip tints. The spotlight initially falls on Haein as she starts “Sugar Sugar” on an innocent and curious note. Gradually we see that the MV portrays her as the clown of the group, whether she is busting out some eccentric moves, carrying a comb in her ‘do’, or making a romantic claim on the ceramic “sugar boy” the girls are playing with.
Following Haein’s sequence, Solbin enters the rosy-ballooned room with rollers in her hair and her sweet vocals shining through. Maknae Yulhee’s lyrics are by far the most entertaining part of “Sugar Sugar” and make any fangirl (including myself) squeal in delight the second names are listed.
He’s not even Kang Dong Won, Kim Soo Hyun or Lee Min Ho
But I like him so much, does that even make sense?
Utter perfection! (Except if Hyun-bin was mentioned, this song would never stop playing in my head). Laboum looks for a reason to confirm their feelings for a special boy, who apparently defeats Kang Dong-won, Kim Soo-hyun and Lee Min-ho in terms of stealing their affections.
Soyeon’s vocals tie together the musicality and choreography of “Sugar Sugar” and create a relevant relationship between the song and MV. Although leader Yujeong doesn’t have many lyrical parts in “Sugar Sugar,” she is seen very evidently as she leads the choreography with her clean and precise movements. As the girls design and imagine a romance with two ceramic dolls sitting in a kingdom of sugar cubes and candy, Haein’s antics leave them dumbfounded and serve to increase the comedy and joyousness among the girls. In the meantime, the song plays out in a very steady and orderly fashion. ZN is seen in vignettes throughout “Sugar Sugar,” either lending her vocals to the chorus or displaying her vocal range in her own lyrical segment.
“Sugar Sugar” is not a song with wide or diverse musical patterns, the members each receive a pleasant sequence of lyrics and appearances. Because of the upbeat nature of “Sugar Sugar” and it’s forgoing of deeper themes, the song automatically has a commendable aura of equality and does not choose favorites among the members. Laboum simply look like they are having fun as a group of girlfriends, frolicking and fantasizing together.
With confidence, I say that “Sugar Sugar” is Laboum’s most fruitful exploration and spin on the innocent and colorful concept popular among girl groups this season. Not only is “Sugar Sugar” more colorful MV wise than those of other girl groups, but it is a distinct and vivid composition in itself.
It furthers the conventional exploration of cute concepts because of its use of childish explanations for love, its intimate look into the activities of ordinary young girls (sleepover, talking about boys, makeup, and romance), its blatant and unhesitating incorporation of stars we all love and look up to into the lyrics, and its extremely learnable choreography. Additionally, there is an unexplained essence to Laboum’s “Sugar Sugar” that makes anyone who watches it feel feminine, cheerful, and comfortable.
Although comparing “Sugar Sugar” to “What About You?” is a separate escapade, I can say that “Sugar Sugar” has a camaraderie and fluidity to it that surpasses the stiffness and slight unfamiliarity seen in “What About You?” The girls have made a valiant effort to stay true to their image by playing around with the beloved cutesy and colorful concept; they succeed as a group in creating a sense of awareness among fans that they have experimented and developed better themes for their songs and music videos. The evolution of Laboum is hard to miss!
Laboum went in one sturdy direction since their debut, and have not strayed or made any uncharacteristic changes to their image. The song is lovely and fresh, the MV is just so darn cute and Laboum looks fantastic as they show the K-pop scene, Lattes, and new viewers how talented and inimitable they are. This Latte has one word to summarize “Sugar Sugar,” and that is happiness.
Readers, do you think Laboum took a turn in the right direction with “Sugar Sugar”?