I swear Alexander Lee Eusebio’s existence is the biggest mindfuck since the season finales of LOST. I can’t with this guy. A former U-KISS member, he is most known for his ridiculous hairstyles, devout Christianity, word vomiting all over twitter, and general insanity. He is one exceptional individual. Yet, fangirls (and probably some fanboys) all over the Internet still want to bone him. Go figure.
I must confess to being a part of their ranks, but in my defense, crazy people can make great lays. Furthermore, the guy speaks seven languages (often all at the same time), so he clearly possesses exceptional oral sensitivity. Or maybe we’re all looking for one-way tickets to special hale. On his twitter, he has dubbed himself the Virgin King, yet proceeds to constantly bait fangirls with blatant innuendo. Harry Plinkett, if you are reading this, I think we have finally found a bigger galactic cocktease than Padmé Amidala. He is also quite fond of TMI, not that that puts off the fans. I wonder what the Virgin King of TMI thinks of his most popular tags over on last.fm: perfection, please let me lick you, marry me, xander, sexiest.
But as much fun as discussing him as a sexual object has been, I’m here to review his mini-album, “I Just.” The fact that it is named after a sentence fragment is really indicative of the effort put forth on its presentation. It is clear his company spared no expense. Check out some stills from the music video for “I Just” (courtesy of fuckyeahukiss on tumblr):
The way I see it, this video could go one of two ways: so godawful it’s amazing or so godawful it could be one of the crappier holodeck episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation–program: low-budget K-pop video, year 1995. We’ve got every K-pop cliché up in here: vehicle porn (mind the license plates), dancers in horrendous outfits, cheap-tacular set, and a girl for the not-gays™. I desperately hope this video is a complete tongue-in-cheek parody of itself, because I honestly don’t know if I could deal with the alternative. It’s kind of hard to mock something so ridiculous and yet at the same time, so earnest. It’s like kicking an adorable three-legged puppy that’s blind in one eye. Even I am not that heartless.
However, I don’t really get that vibe from this mini. Maybe it’s because U-KISS has never struck me as a band who takes themselves all that seriously (although considering their reputation, that is probably for the best) and Xander has never struck me as a person who takes himself all that seriously. I mean, we’re talking about a guy who has dropped his pants on nationwide TV. No, really. I could not make this shit up (nice black boxer-briefs, by the way). He seems to be having a blast with all this, which I suppose he’d have to, considering that he has donned these two outfits in public with a relatively straight face. I can’t decide if this whole thing is a brilliant satire and deconstruction of K-Pop, or if he’s just batshit insane. Either way, I’m loving it.
“Bad Girl” was the first song I heard and it’s the best by far. And by “best” I mean fucking amazing, emphasis on the “fucking.” This is straight-up ’90s-style freaknasty bump n’ grind. You aren’t fooling anyone, Xander. Exceptional oral sensitivity indeed. This opus only has an English version (and I use this descriptor very loosely), so yay, I can actually understand most of it! Not that there really is much to understand. It’s three minutes of aural sex, basically. For a guy whose main role in U-KISS was as a rapper, the vocals are unexpectedly smooth, despite copious amounts of autotune. I cannot discern if the autotune is there because of his singing ability (or lack thereof), stylistic reasons, or simply to cover his heavy accent. Or a combination of the above. If it’s to cover the accent, it failed miserably. This ain’t one of those accents most people who aren’t weird find sexy, like French or British or something. Which, by the way, I have never understood. Why are certain accents considered sexy and others not? I call accentism.
“I Just” is the title track and quite frankly, I found it rather underwhelming. It’s OK, I guess. It’s got a good beat and it’s catchy enough. After the sublime perfection of “Bad Girl” it’s got a tough act to follow. This track also sounds very ’90s, which may or may not be a good thing, depending on what your preferences are. There are three versions: Korean, Japanese, and English, so it’s a matter of picking your accent. I have no idea what his native tongue is and can’t seem to locate any information about it on the Internet, but I know it ain’t any of these. Xander’s Korean has really deteriorated since he left U-KISS. I don’t even speak Korean fluently and I could hear the accent. Oy vey.
Finally we have “Oh! Baby!” This track is another trip down memory lane, this time to the ’80s. The intro has been frequently compared to Olivia Newton-John’s “Let’s Get Physical” and not without merit. It never ceases to amaze me how K-Pop song writers think they can (and often do) get away with lifting iconic 80s and 90s songs. Not to be ethnocentric here, because I don’t think that everyone should know Amurrican pop music, but considering the efforts put into making K-Pop a global phenomenon and spreading the Hallyu wave and all that crap, you’d think songwriters and producers would do their homework. International fans can sniff out this shit a mile away, and they do. K-Pop plagiarism scandals rear their ugly heads on a regular basis. Fortunately for Xander, he’s probably too irrelevant for anyone to care, so he dodged a bullet.
Aside from the ’80s bubblegum sound, however, the similarities end there. The song is everything I love about K-pop. It is tremendously cheesy, nonsensical, and utterly impossible to take seriously. Like “I Just,” there are three versions, and the English one has some golden lyricism. Here are a couple of my favorite lines: “You make me feel so feel shooby-dooby-dooby-dooby-doo-bah-bah” and “I’m the real McCoy.” Oh Xander. Why yes, yes you are.
So there you have it. Do I recommend this album? Absolutely. No, I’m not on drugs. God. So if you love the 80s and 90s, multilingual absurdity, autotune, and cheesiness, you’d probably dig it. Personally, I find this mini-album goes down (hehe, “goes down”) easiest when treated exactly as it presents itself, a form of pop pastiche with tongue firmly in cheek. Come on. You know you want it.