Cross Gene has finally returned to South Korea after over a year’s absence. They last made comeback with Noona, You in January 2016. That didn’t mean the group went MIA for the year. They did release their first Japanese album in April 2016 as well. Moving forward to 2017, the group released their Mirror mini album, which features Black or White as the title track.
Cross Gene has made releases with an edgy sound and concept before. But this release takes thing a lot further. And it sounds really cool. There are a lot of horror influences with the instrumental and song in general. The use of rock during the verses, the howling wolf in the background at certain parts, a grunting sound from one of the members etc. The instrumental tries to pack a punch. For the most part, the electronic-based instrumental succeeds in doing this. But there are segments where they remove the intensity and replace it with a hip-hop sound. It kills the mood, which is disappointing. The difference was far too noticeable to avoid talking about. The vocals of the song, along with the rap, was quite good as well. It built and gave the song the intensity it needed. I guess this is the song you would listen to if you want to be sitting on the edge of your seat. On a more personal level, it sounds really cool (as I specified above), but it doesn’t amaze me. I do read other reviews to see what people think of the song and I do agree with a majority of them when they say the song has a familiar sound and has been “done before”.
The music video is quite graphic and if you are not into gory stuff or violence – do stay away from the video. Essentially, the video is similar to the Jekyll and Hyde storyline. Each member has an innocent side (which we will refer to as the good side) and the creepily insane side (which we will refer to as the dark side). The dark side taunts the good side and ends up killing the good side as well. Let’s just say stabbing, drowning in blood and strangulation are involved. The other methods that were used to kill the good side are a little too graphic to even put into words. The odd thing is the good side ends up living again. As if the dark side never even touched them. Or everything was just in their head. I have to say the guy who ended up being drowned did a good job at portraying the good and dark side. He looks really innocent one second and then insane the next. I feel like they should have ended with the dark side just in the background, while the good side is just to come to grips with what had happened. It would give a video a more eerie and ominous look (even though they got that covered). I thought the video was well shot. Some of the acting looked a little awkward but still bearable to watch. Overall, I liked it. It just isn’t for the faint-hearted.
The performance was generally quite good. They split the group into smaller groups of three. One being the white group and the other being the black group. The dance is also split amongst the two groups. Either group performed by themselves, with little interaction between the two groups. While this has been done before, the separation here looked more obvious made everything seem a lot edgier.
Song – 8/10
Music Video – 9.5/10
Performance – 8.5/10
Overall Rating – 8.5/10