It’s been awhile since we’ve heard one of these cross-genre, mash-up type of singles. There was a time when it was kind of a trend, exemplified by Girls’ Generation’s mega-hit I Got A Boy. The formula is a difficult one, and its success rests on how well the song’s disparate elements are fused together. As much as I like it now, Bigbang’s Bang Bang Bang was an example of diversity in sound and production really stripping the track of the momentum its verses and bridge had built up. Cross Gene’s Noona, You, definitely doesn’t lack momentum, but it’s a bit all over the place.
To break it down, the song is divided into an explosive 80’s rock-influenced chorus, brief forays into bass-heavy hip-hop, slow grind r&b, and even a bit of dubstep. I’d say it all works except the dubstep. Luckily, that particular section is very brief, coming right before the last chorus. It’s also the messiest part of the song, and robs the climax of necessary breathing room. In fact, if I have any qualms with the production, it’s that it all passes by so fast. The elements mix surprisingly well, but it’s a bit slapdash. There’s no real through line or story to the song. In that way, it feels more like a mash-up than an actual title track.
This makes it sound as if I dislike the song, and that’s not true. I actually kind of love it. As an exhilarating burst of energy, it’s very effective. The oft-repeated hook is also its best moment — a fist-pumping slice of stadium rock with an awesome melody. They must have known this, as the chorus kicks the track off right from the first few seconds. I love songs that play around with formula, and even thought it might not be everyone’s cup of tea, I don’t think anyone would call Noona, You boring. Given an extra thirty seconds or so of running time to allow for some more interesting transitions, it could have easily gone from “great” to “outstanding.”