THE SECOND STEP : CHAPTER ONE - EP
Half a decade since iKON debuted, eight years since WINNER, and 16 years since BIGBANG, the 12-member TREASURE is YG Entertainment’s first K-pop boy band in a minute—the result of a television survival competition series, YG Treasure Box. Meet Choi Hyun-suk, Park Jihoon, Kanemoto Yoshinori (Yoshi), Kim Junkyu, Takata Mashiho, Yoon Jaehyuk, Hamada Asahi, Bang Yedam, Watanabe Haruto, Kim Doyoung, Park Jeong-woo, and So Junghwan—a dream team of trainees-turned-rookies here to remind listeners that they can find their treasure anywhere. It’s a concept first introduced on their debut studio album, 2021’s THE FIRST STEP : TREASURE EFFECT, and continued on 2022’s THE SECOND STEP : CHAPTER ONE – EP. The delivery is as smooth as the message: From the high-octane opener, “JIKJIN,” and the Bieber-esque retro-R&B balladry with subtle trap production of “DARARI,” to the acoustic romance of “IT’S OKAY” and Junkyu’s rich tenor on “U,” a performance that recalls One Direction’s Zayn Malik, there’s a lot to take in.