Treasure (YG Entertainment)
Super rookie boy band Treasure is completing the last puzzle of the group’s first chapter with hopeful voices filling up their first studio album, “The First Step: Treasure Effect.”
Ahead of dropping a new album on Monday, the 12-member act livestreamed a global press conference conducted online due to concerns of the COVID-19 situation in South Korea.
Released in a depressive period of the coronavirus pandemic, the band explained the album is all about sending a hopeful message to fans, referred to as Treasure Makers, and all listeners around the world enduring these difficult times.
“Our biggest wish is that people can be consoled with our music. Like the theme of ‘hope’ and ‘love’ defining our promo activities for the upcoming album, we’ll strive to spread optimistic energy,” Ji-hoon said during the press conference.
Having released singles since the group’s debut under YG Entertainment in August last year as winners of JTBC2 K-pop competition show “Treasure Box,” the new album also marks an end to the journey and wraps up their first steps taken together.
“I realize that we’ve come so far in such a short time,” group leader Hyun-suk said, adding, “the album’s main theme was to embrace Treasure’s unique bright energy. We worked on portraying the free and enthusiastic spirit of the members.”
Fronted with lead track “My Treasure,” the 12-track album mostly strays from the group’s previously released songs “Boy,” “I Love You” and “MMM,” which all sing of the sweetness of boys falling in love.
“The title song holds a definitely offbeat identity from our previous songs. It was our first attempt at such a bright pop genre and, when we first heard it, we also found it fresh and invigorating. We wanted to deliver such an energy to our listeners,” Do-young said.
While Hyun-suk, Yoshi and Haruto took part in penning the lead track, Hyun-suk said, “The members don‘t only write but also take part in the production. This process is healing for us in another sense as we can share our stories of every moment.”
Treasure (YG Entertainment)
The music video for “My Treasure” is a short piece of fairy-tale music in itself, according to Jun-kyu, filled with fantastical visual elements that can simply enlighten the viewers.
Ji-hoon said the bandmates teamed up with YG’s dancers for the first time, hinting at an unprecedented scale of performances from the rookie band.
YG singer-songwriter Lee Chan-hyuk of duo group AKMU wrote and produced “Slowmotion,” one of three new songs unveiled through the album’s release.
The track list also includes three singles “Boy,” “MMM” and “I Love You,” remixed versions of “I Love You” and “MMM,” “Going Crazy” from the initial K-pop competition and songs “Be With Me,” “Bling Like This,” “Orange” and “Come to Me.”
In dropping their first studio album in the pandemic era as they are unable to hold concerts onsite and meet with fans in person, Jung-woo thanked fans for waiting patiently.
“When I heard the sounds of our fans screaming during the online concert last year, although the sounds were delivered virtually, I felt something like no other emotions I had experienced before,” Jung-woo said, shedding tears. “I want to feel that again and also return our energy to our fans.”
Japanese member Asahi also thanked fans, especially with their lead tracks from previous albums topping major music charts in his home country. “My family and friends never forget to celebrate me whenever we top the charts. I’m delighted to see so much love coming from Japan.”
While the group shot to instant global fame upon debut and has been on a continuous journey of feats since, Ye-dam said such achievements or the number of album sales is not what the group aims for with “The First Step: Treasure Effect.”
“The key message of our album is that everyone is an invaluable and shining gem, and we wanted to sing this message of hope and happiness through our voices,” Ye-dam said. “Our biggest feat with the album will be comforting hearts and finishing our activities safely.”
The album is set to be dropped at 6 p.m. Monday, along with "My Treasure" music video.
By Choi Ji-won (firstname.lastname@example.org)