When talking about underrated boy groups, Cross Gene have to be in the conversation. They debuted in 2012 and have straddled the line almost equally between Korean and Japanese releases. They’ve also become better with time, even if the general public hasn’t completely been won over yet. For a group of their stature, they have an incredibly solid run of singles. Here’s the best.
10. La-Di Da-Di (2012)
Quintessential club-oriented k-pop at its core, but the hook is simple and addictive enough to pack a punch.
9. Shooting Star (2013)
In their second year, the guys built on their sound with the electro pulse of Shooting Star. Its effective use of strings gives a more dramatic feel than expected.
8. Billion Dolla (2014)
As notable for its crazy zombie-themed music video as it is for the actual song, there’s still no denying Billion Dolla’s propulsive club beat.
7. Amazing – Bad Lady – (2013)
Switching to a darker, more hip-hop influenced sound resulted in the guys’ first great single. Amazing impresses with its ever changing, tempo-shifting dubstep beat.
6. I’m Not A Boy, Not Yet A Man (2014)
With a title that recalls Britney Spears and a melodic riff that sounds more than a little like the Spice Girls, it’s a testament to the song’s quality that it manages to stand on its own as one of the guys’ most mature efforts.
5. Love & Peace (2015)
A sharp turn into lighthearted, singalong pop, Love & Peace aims for anthem and nails it. The surging, piano-laced dance beat gives the track plenty of momentum, even as its general vibe heads toward hands-in-the-air cheesiness.
4. Ying Yang (2016)
Taking a sleek, sexy approach with its lush electronic throb, Ying Yang’s central hook is as impossibly catchy as it is effortlessly cool. Cross Gene’s music has never sounded slinkier.
3. Play With Me (2015)
An intense brew of sledgehammer dance beats, haunting guitar and hip-hop attitude, Play With Me represents Cross Gene at their most fully realized. Its central refrain is one of their most anthemic, building to some thrilling points of climax.
2. Noona, You (2016)
With its bombastic combination of rock guitar, hip-hop breakdowns and anthemic melody, Noona, You explodes right out of the gate, taking no prisoners. It’s the biggest-sounding track the group has ever recorded, and ultimately too odd in its structure to find mainstream success. (full review)
1. sHi-tai! (2015)
The pinnacle of Cross Gene’s more light-hearted sound, and their most enjoyable song from start to finish. The group has never sounded funkier, playing over a densely packed track stuffed with rhythm guitar, punchy electronics and a beat that feels truly alive. Explosive, party-starting retro pop at its best.