After a string of releases that could be described as more typical dance-pop/K-pop to relatively successful results (musically, at least), NMIXX don’t quite go back completely to their previous MIXX-Pop sound, but get close by releasing one of those purposefully disjointed songs with a chanted chorus at its center.
None of that in itself is bad, just a risk, and risky stuff can be difficult to meld perfectly. As usual when this idea goes wrong, the problem with “Sonar” is that most of its sections don’t standout much. The pre-chorus is a highlight, as is the first part of the bridge, but they also aren’t sticky melodies either and they always seem worse off when trying to do hip-hop. While the catchy part is supposed to be the repetitive chorus, it drones on more than providing a punchy hook and something you want to embed in your brain.
Not really sure what JYP Entertainment will do with their sound in the future given the twists and turns he’s given NMIXX so far, but I guess they seem to be getting closer to making this kind of song work at least.