TREASURE kicked things off in 2020 with back to back comebacks, starting off with their debut BOY and comeback singles I LOVE YOU and MMM. The group then kicked off 2021 with their MY TREASURE comeback before subsequently disappearing from the Korean music scene for the rest of the year. They did make their Japanese debut last year and did have a horror (I think) web series on YouTube. But the point is, they haven’t released any new music in over a year, which was disappointing given the momentum they gained. That is until today. TREASURE has made their long awaited comeback with their first mini-album, The Second Step: Chapter One, and new single JIKJIN.
JIKJIN is a hard-hitting hip-hop dance track that really packs a punch when it needs to. I really like how profound some of the beats and percussion (such as in the pre-chorus) were, which really made JIKJIN dynamic and energetic. In addition to that, I enjoyed the pop-like sequence during the verses (the part preceding the pre-choruses). It got me tapping along to the song and it appealed to my personal taste. For the chorus, I felt how the producers took the ‘Ooh‘ and turned it into a engine-like effect to be quite cool and creative. I was unsure of it at first, and it made me laugh. But repeat listens helped me come to realize that it was different and fascinating at the same time. I also felt that the rapping and vocal works were extremely strong and robust in JIKJIN, which also helped me enjoyed the track as well. I raise this because I actually enjoyed the second verse rap sequence, which surprised me given that it isn’t usually my style. Once we hit the bridge and you could hear the club sound emerging in the background underneath the vocals, you get a sense of where JIKJIN is going for its final moments. And so it came as no surprise that they went a shouty final sequence that reminds you of other YG songs. But this one isn’t as typical, given that they managed to incorporate the original chorus into the mix. The shouty nature also made that sequence super energetic, as well. And as mentioned before, the instrumental mix we get at the end was extremely dynamic and intense, ending JIKJIN on a high note for me.
The music video is reported to cost more than $400,000, which is approximately the amount allocated to BLACKPINK’s music videos. While I do find this fact very interesting, I do question where the money was directed. To me, it seems like most of the budget would have gone to renting those spot cars that we see throughout the video. They also erected screens in a very familiar location (we have seen that circular concrete structure in music videos like VIXX’s The Closer, ONEUS’ TO BE OR NOT TO BE, Kim Lip’s Eclipse etc.), which I will admit brought new life to that structure. I am a bit disappointed by this, as they really hyped the video up to be something super cool. But I don’t think it lived up to that hype. On a more positive note, I enjoyed the cinematography throughout the video, which really helped make the video dynamic as well.
The main point of the choreography seems to draw on that car concept that is evidently in the music video and my comments on the chorus sounding ‘engine-like’. Elsewhere, I liked the various parts we saw in the music video. The pop sequence I mentioned for the verse seemed to have nice flow, and the final sequence in the song definitely seems to be the performance’s peak in terms of dynamism and energy. Looking forward to see everything on stage later this week.
Song – 9/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 8.7/10