BY Katie Vicary

Less than a year since debuting, K-POP rookie group ATEEZ has certainty established themselves as a force to be reckoned with. 

They have recently released their first full length album Treasure Ep.Fin: All to Action, the final release in their four part Treasure series. The 11-track album showcases the group’s strengths in a range of styles and is accompanied by a music video which sets the scene for what to expect from the album. Leader Hongjoong and rapper Mingi are credited as co-writers throughout the album along with collaborations with Eden, Buddy, Leez and Ollounder who have worked on the group’s previous albums.

The dynamic track ‘Wonderland’ sets the tone for the whole album and certainly lives up to expectations. Full of brass, horns and hard-hitting vocals and raps, it takes a large step away from common KPOP tropes and feels more like a war cry or an anthem. ‘Wonderland’ sets the bar high for the remainder of the album as it thrusts you straight into the high intensity dark world of ATEEZ.

The album continues with hard hitting songs full of inspirational themes of chasing your dreams and not giving up, such as ‘Dazzling Light’, ‘Sunrise’ and ‘Win’. These high energy songs showcase the vocals of the entire group, including signature sounds like Jongho’s impressive range and Mingi’s unique rap style. These songs keep the energy of the album up whilst exploring different styles and not overshadowing the lead ‘Wonderland’. My only gripe with these few songs is the choice of electronic auto-tune in ‘Sunrise’ as I feel like it doesn’t quite fit the tone of the song, but the boys manage to pull it off through the clap-along nature of the chorus which follows.

Similar to their first EP Treasure Ep.1: All to Zero, this album includes instrumental pieces. This seems to be a staple of ATEEZ’s albums and it breaks up their mainly electronic songs really nicely. The intro ‘End of the Beginning’, is a mere 30-seconds, which opens with a sorrowful, calm-before-the-storm tone. The piece is beautiful, showcasing strings and vocals and reminds us of the pirate theme which runs through their album series. ‘Precious (Overture)’ sits at number 5 on the tracklist, breaking up both halves of the album. The song includes notable features from one of their first singles Treasure, bringing fans back to their original album and theme. The song feels equal parts eerie, beautiful and powerful with sections of thin textures, Mingi’s powerful rap in the middle and an unexpected electronic portion. Whilst I would’ve loved an entire song with the eerie tone and thin texture of the start, the song serves as a really nice bridging between the two halves of the album. ‘Beginning of the End’ serves as the outro to the album, a sort of goodbye to an era in their music. The piece feels beautiful and grand as if it was written for a film. These are pieces on the album I love - a complete contrast to their mostly electronic hard-hitting songs.

‘Mist’ switches it up with a more sensual, R&B song which showcases the groups falsettos and more laidback raps in a new style. The chorus shows off members Wooyoung and Jongho’s falsettos, mixing beautifully with the electronic backing. Contrary to what the title suggests, ‘If Without You’ is a playful feel good song whose bridge is a definite highlight. I really enjoy the use of outside audio adding to the playful tone of the song, what sounds like children saying ‘woah’, ‘ah’ and ‘oh’ and general outside chatter.

The album ends with ‘Thank U’ and ‘With U’, two mid-tempo songs which feel like a dedication to fans as their first year after their debut comes to an end. These songs slow down the album in preparation for the end and have warm natured lyrics closing off the album nicely.

Treasure Ep.Fin: All to Action is an incredibly solid first album for ATEEZ and showcases how far they’ve come since debuting. The lead track ‘Wonderland’ definitely stands out as one of the best songs of the album, but no song falls flat.

ATEEZ @ Big Top Sydney

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