After AAA chose to suspend activities and go on an indefinite hiatus early last year, the remaining members have all immersed themselves in solo activities. And this has mostly been successful with member Shuta Sueyoshi going viral earlier in 2020 with his supremely catchy Hack (although I’m Your Owner is leagues better) and Sky-hi and Nissy releasing their fair share of strong tracks. Misako Uno has also been releasing some interesting material over the past few years and the bouncy, pop-rock influenced Sweet Hug is her latest single release.
Now I would be lying if I said Sweet Hug was in any way shape or form original. It’s as generic as you could get when concerning this kind of pop rock track and the bright guitar led instrumental sounds as though it’s been ripped out of any mid 2000’s slice of life anime or Disney channel movie. The thing is though, I grew up on 2000’s slice of life anime and Disney channel movies. And that’s why despite many probably coming away from Sweet Hug disappointed, I came away from my first listen almost immediately pressing the replay button. There’s just an unrivalled sense of joy that comes from tracks like this that I find it hard to explain and sometimes that’s all you need.
The driving guitar helps maintain a consistent sense momentum and I really enjoy the melodic turns that Sweet Hug takes throughout its run time. Personally, there isn’t a single moment during Sweet Hug where I think it becomes boring. Standard yes but there why change something that isn’t broken. But what really makes Sweet Hug a great example of such a track is the rousing central refrain which recalls all the best aspects of the genre that the track is unabashedly taking from. There’s a real sense of melodic warmth radiating form the hook here and I’m completely smitten each and every time it rolls around. Misako isn’t the strongest vocalist but her performance here is great. But a track like Sweet Hug doesn’t need a great performance. This is a track that lives and dies by its driving, nostalgic production and by that account, it all but succeeds.
Final Rating: 8.5/10