Song Review: Bang Yedam (Treasure) – WAYO

More often than not, K-pop agencies play the long game with their trainees, recruiting young with the hope of rearing a world-conquering star. This is usually a behind-the-scenes process, but fans have been with Bang Yedam ever since he competed in the second season of K-pop Star at the age of ten. K-pop Star was the first Korean variety series I’d ever watched, and I still hold a soft spot for the small, long-haired phenom that continually impressed the judges.

Fast-forward seven years and Yedam has finally debuted, a few weeks before the unveiling of his group Treasure. With one-half of Winner in the military and iKON struggling to replicate their immense 2018 success, YG Entertainment’s boy group slate feels in need of new blood. And perhaps as a passing of the torch, WAYO (왜요) is co-written by Winner’s own Kang Seungyoon. We’ll see if Treasure is able to measure up to their seniors, but for now it’s clear that Yedam is a star.

I’m not sure that WAYO does much to display that charisma, apart from shining a spotlight on his fantastic vocals. Post-puberty, the appeal of his tone could have gone either way. But, I think he’s even better than he was on K-pop Star. There’s an appealing warmth to his voice that feels unique within this generation of K-pop. The acoustic-meets-r&b vibe of WAYO fits neatly within YG’s wheelhouse, hinging on a simple, repeated melody that blossoms for the track’s rousing, symphonic climax. Much of the song is quite muted – an approach that has led to YG classics like Eyes, Nose, Lips, Lonely, and Untitled 2014. WAYO isn’t as melodically rich as any of those tracks, but it feels well-suited to a performer of Yedam’s age. I expect that its timeless nature will give it some durability, holding fans over until Treasure’s long-awaited debut.

 Hooks 8
 Production 7
 Longevity 9
 Bias 8

Be sure to add your own rating by participating in the poll below!


14 thoughts on “Song Review: Bang Yedam (Treasure) – WAYO

  1. *check* I love this song more than I should. I ma only awaiting Treasure’s Debut for fantastic voices like Yedam to shine. This may not be as strong as Taeyang’s Eyes , Nose and Lips but it’s good enough for me to approve. Seriously YG Ballads are the best , Can there be anything as amazing as those classics ?
    Seriously Ever since Youngmin’s news , I’m hoping June won’t end badly , We still have 25 days so let’s make this June count!
    Also about the song , Sounds like a clean song with an emotion you only see Taeyang can display in his vocals so yeah , it’s amazing for me.
    I’ll give it 8.75


  2. The chorus sounds like a recent popular song but I can’t point out which one it is. I’m much more interesting to resolve this mystery than the song itself, it’s pleasant but it’s the kind of song that will stay in the playlist two months until another decent r&b song comes out and takes its spot.


  3. Yep, I love this song more than I should too. It is a very nice performance, even if the song is straight forward R&B mid tempo.
    Aw, Yedam, our boy has grown up. Almost 8 years as a trainee, 8 years of waiting.


  4. I got slight Winner vibes from this so it makes so much sense that Seungyoon was a part of the process. Though that might just be me associating YG acts with each other which I feel like clouds my judgment of a lot of YG music now.

    This is lovely. I’m actually more excited by him as a solo than for the whole of Treasure. That song they released back in…Feb? didn’t hype me up at all. Maybe I should actually go watch that show.

    I’d agree with your 8/10 for this.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. (Nick – off topic – can we take it by your silence that you will be skipping reviewing the rest of Road to the Kingdom? More performances came out yesterday.)


    • No, I’ll be recapping it until the bitter end. I watch each episode on Friday night (US Pacific time), so recaps are published shortly after that.


        • They’re coming this month, I promise! Before that, I have yet another new feature that I’m planning to launch.

          (have been wanting to do the J-pop round-up again for awhile, but the J-pop industry basically shut down for the last two months due to Covid, so there wasn’t much new music coming out at all)

          Liked by 1 person

  6. Nick, Labyrinth got a special clip, can you count it as a low-budget MV, our 2020 singles list needs it. PLZ

    Arpydarpy did so on her blog….

    It actually is more MV than somethings you count as MVs


    • Hahaha no, it will remain classified as a (very good) b-side on this site. For me, a song either needs to have:

      a) a full mv that’s not just a nicely shot performance/choreography video


      b) be promoted as its own thing on music shows, rather than as an extra performance coupled with the title track


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