Last time we heard from Treasure, they had re-invented their slow jam Darari into a rollicking pop rock banger. That version appears on their new album, which also sees the members taking greater creative control. Thankfully, this results in a dynamic blend of upbeat sounds that recall standout eras in YG Entertainment’s past.
Title track Hello is emblematic of this, mining tried-and-true agency sounds but painting a fresh, youthful sheen over the top. This being YG, the song can’t help but shift into needless tempo changes here and there, but overall this is the most straightforwardly pop Treasure have sounded in a while. Hello is anchored by a synth-and-chant throughline whose melody feels reminiscent to a-ha’s Take On Me (a well worn sonic reference if there ever was one!). Meanwhile, its first verse echoes the maximalist EDM of the early 2010’s, firing on all cylinders with super-charged energy. The song is at its best when it fully commits to this youthful (slightly uncool) style.
With members Bang Yedam and Mashiho still on hiatus, the group feels a bit depleted. Yedam’s vocals are particularly missed, as his unique tone always stands out in Treasure songs. Hello isn’t a rap-heavy track, and could benefit from a few vocal highlights. Instead, the insistent beat does the talking. But, you’ll find no complaints here. I’m a sucker for this high-energy sound. It may be derivative and cheesy, but I’m much more likely to crank up the volume on a song like this as opposed to the bait-and-switch beat drops of JIKJIN.