YG Entertainment’s Treasure blitzed the K-pop market last year with the release of three singles. Throughout this process, they developed a malleable hip-hop sound, though many of their tracks had challenges bringing together disparate genres in a compelling way. For the release of their first full album, the guys have opted for a lighter, more pop-informed style. My Treasure bounds along sunshine and rainbows, coming across like a splashy number from some imaginary K-pop musical.
I’m definitely not against this approach, especially given the Treasure members’ age. It’s nice to hear them tackle something unabashedly youthful, even though this genre probably isn’t the sort of thing most of them would choose to listen to. I also appreciate the focus on the group’s vocalists, who feel like an underused part of the ‘Treasure sound.’ However, I wish My Treasure didn’t come across as so lightweight. Its brassy undertones have the celebratory pulse of a K-pop Christmas song, yet lack the weight and impact to make the final product soar. I would have made this element more prominent in the mix and added a generous dose of bass to fill out the lower end.
On the plus side, there are parts of My Treasure’s chorus that I really like, especially its second half. A song of this style thrives upon rhythm, and the track is at its best when it embraces funk over saccharine sweetness. After a jarring and needless post-chorus breakdown, My Treasure finds its footing and builds toward a lofty crescendo. Still, being a connoisseur of this bright style of boy group K-pop, it’s hard not to compare Treasure to earlier triumphs from other groups. TXT’s Blue Hour did disco strings better, and UP10TION’s Tonight nailed this exact vibe with much more panache and personality.