Treasure Epilogue: Action To Answer is likely to be the last in a long series of Treasure-related releases from K-pop boyband Ateez since 2018. This latest edition may be short, but the eight-piece certainly knows how to pack in as much as possible.
The (sort of) title-track opener Answer mixes plaintive high-pitched piano notes and fast rapping, before wildly switching it up to a gaudy panpipe-led EDM group chant. Their instrument choices are so bold here that the Celtic folk and sluggish Eurobeat stylings are thrust right to the forefront, while Horizon is equally unpredictable, moving from distracting warbling female samples, to an anti-chorus dub-shanty drop. It is all over the map.
Fan love-letter Star 1117, meanwhile, sticks out like a sore thumb. Mingi sounds very uncomfortable on this slow, swung piano ballad, beginning the song with a low, husky voice well below his natural register. Thankfully, it swiftly picks up to a more natural singing style from Yunho, adding dainty falsetto inflections to the smooth melodic phrases of the floaty, and easy-to-sing-along-to, chorus.
Most interesting is the 90-second Outro: Long Journey, which in its brief running time manages to shift from weeping string arrangements, akin to Coldplay’s Everyday Life opener Sunrise, to jubilance and town-crier-like shouting, before seguing into a short teaser – likely from their next project. It’s a neat trick, much like a post-credit scene from an action movie.
Ateez sound at home with their synth-led hard hitters, but it’s when they break out of this formula, where they really strike gold.