After a debut album stuffed with title tracks, I fear Treasure have entered the second stage of YG Entertainment’s “artist development”: radio silence, peppered by the odd comeback here and there. JIKJIN (직진) is the first title track from the group in over a year, and comes paired with a big budget music video and tons of hype.
I have a soft spot for YG’s brand of rock music. Their artists often opt for this style, resulting in tons of great songs. JIKJIN’s teasers promised plenty of guitar and even hinted at a sprightly funk beat. But, this is the modern iteration of YG we’re talking about. There’s no way we’re getting through an entire track without some random, jarring energy shift. JIKJIN is a Frankenstein of a comeback, unsure what it wants to be. There’s a great song in here somewhere, but it’s forced to twist itself to fit the agency’s template for a hit.
JIKJIN’s opening verse is quite promising. I love the punchy rock energy, paired with swerving synth that hints at something big just around the corner. Bang Yedam’s vocals are always a treat, and he kicks off the pre-chorus with aplomb. However, it’s not long before we plunge into the song’s noisy, half-time chorus. A comeback like this shouldn’t elicit eye rolls, but the predictability of this approach is exhausting. The trick used to be fresh and fun (Bigbang’s Bang Bang Bang). At this point, it’s corny and dull. Unfortunately, JIKJIN never quite recovers despite upping the energy for a chant-along climax (another overused YG trope). With songs like this, Treasure feel like a delivery method for the agency’s cut-and-paste style rather than an exciting entity of their own.