Following my last album review (BLACKPINK’s BORN PINK), I thought I also review another YG Entertainment album that I have been holding onto. The album, as you can tell from the title of this post, is TREASURE’s THE SECOND STEP: CHAPTER TWO. It is the group’s second mini-album and was released in October 2022, and it features the title track HELLO, along with four additional side tracks. THE SECOND STEP: CHAPTER TWO follows the group’s earlier comeback in 2022 and first mini-album, THE SECOND STEP: CHAPTER ONE (title track JIKJIN). It is also the first release to not feature Bang Ye Dam and Mashiho, who were on hiatus at the time of the mini-album’s release and subsequently left the group following the mini-album’s release.
1. HELLO (Title Track) – Click here to read the full review for HELLO. (9/10)
2. VolKno (CHOI HYUNSUK, YOSHI & HARUTO) – Following the more pop-centric title is a surprising mix of hip-hop and rock. It is purely electrifying, intense and just so powerful. Everything I ever wanted from a rock release in KPOP is in VolKno. The track is delivered to us by the three rappers of the group, so it is safe to say that their delivery falls into the rap/hip-hop style. And I don’t mind that, as their trio’s delivery just amp up everything else in the song. The best part of the song is when they get chanty during the bridge, which is a nice bright change in direction. I found to be a great head-banging sequence, before the song goes back to its intense rock body. (10/10)
3. CLAP! – CLAP! returns to the mini-album to the bright and pop-like profile that featured in the title track and kicked off the mini-album. There are some added reggae influences to certain parts of the song, which differentiates the song from the title track. The rapping was nicely done and gave CLAP! some much needed oomph. However, the element that really prevented me from enjoying the song are the vocals, which I found to be disappointing. The vocals took on a more standard melody, which ultimately dulled the song for me. I wished the members were more expressive and the melody line was a bit more exciting, just to give CLAP! a much more substantial edge. (6/10)
4. THANK YOU (고마워) (ASAHI & HARUTO) – HARUTO is definitely a busy person as the only TREASURE member to appearing in all five songs on this mini-album. In THANK YOU, HARUTO join forces with ASAHI to give us this pop style song. At first, it sounded more like a pop rock song. But it ended up settling for more on the pop side as THANK YOU progressed along. In the end, I found this song to be quite a pleasant listen and I really did enjoy it. (8/10)
5. HOLD IT IN (물 어둡다) – Ending the mini-album is the album’s most subdued mix, opting for a more prevalent R&B vibe for the most part. But there is more to HOLD IT IN than what meets the eye. For example, we get some relatively soft pop dance backing for the chorus, jazzy ballad styling in the second verse and marching drums in the bridge. Altogether, TREASURE delivers another pleasant ender to the album that just had the right dose of pretty much each of the different styles mentioned whilst also managing to stay cohesive somehow. (7.5/10)