I have finally moved onto albums from February! Hooray! (That being said, I don’t have time to write up studio album reviews over this weekend, so there might be one or two from January coming in the next few weeks). Anyhow, first up in the start of the post-January album reviews is TREASURE with their first mini-album, THE SECOND STEP: CHAPTER ONE. It is the group’s first album release in over a year (their last being MY TREASURE from January 2021) and features the title track JIKJIN. Three additional side tracks are featured on the album as well, making it a shorter mini-album with four songs in total.
Overall, a fair mini-album from TREASURE. It seems like the title track focused more on the hype energy that is synonymous with YG Entertainment’s release, while the side tracks focused more on the vocals and softer side of TREASURE. Both show potential and promise for the group, and definitely has me wanting more from the group in the future.
1. JIKJIN (직진) (Title Track) – Click here for the full review of JIKJIN. (9/10)
2. U – U starts off with a piano melody and sounds like a soft track from the beginning. But U emerges as a groovy track from the first chorus. Both sides of the song stay from then on, creating a neat pop track that is fun and showcases the group’s vocals. With the chorus, I liked the short and sharp guitar riffs that brings the groovy/funky nature of U to life. I also liked the slight glitchiness we get ahead of the final chorus, which helps keeps the song interesting (and not repetitive) in its final moments. (8/10)
3. DARARI (다라리) – As far as I am aware, DARARI is supposed to get its own music video and that it has been shot already. But it appears that it hasn’t been released just yet. Hopefully, we don’t have wait long for said music video. Anyhow, DARARI is an extremely pleasant upbeat R&B track that has very catchy and memorable hooks. I like how everything rolls off so smoothly in this song, and how easy on the ears it is. Again, the group’s vocals are on display in this song, and they sounds really solid throughout DARARI. (9/10)
4. IT’S OKAY (괜찮아질 거야) – Final track on this short mini-album is a ballad. I guess YG albums aren’t immune from having the mandatory ballad (quite sure I have used this joke somewhere before). My impression of IT’S OKAY is that it is pleasant. For a mellow guitar-driven ballad like this, this is a good impression. The vocal work is nice, and I liked how they added definition via backing vocals and harmonies in the chorus. The ad-libs at the end showcased their abilities really well. Also, the way they incorporated the rappers felt logical and fitting for this mellow style. (8/10)
Overall Album Rating – 8.5/10