Tag Archives: Beckii Cruel

The “Science” of Music Preference

Think about all the music you think is good. Now think about all the music you think is bad. Why do you like what you like and hate what you hate? Good music, bad music. Is there really a clear-cut definition for either? No matter how hard you may try to prove me wrong, the answer is no. Your definition of good music and bad music is always going to differ with at least one, if not MOST other people. So is there a science as to why we like what we like and vice versa?

On my blog, my primary goal is to provide music reviews that, while very opinionated, assert my strong belief that no music is ever bad. I’ve said it about Beckii Cruel, I’ve mentioned it in conversations with other bloggers, I preach it to people in my life outside of my lime green Dell Inspiron Laptop. I strongly believe that all music is created because at least one person somewhere wanted to hear it, and that one person’s self-expression should not be stifled.

What causes our individual requirements for self-expression as far as music is concerned? We all have our reasons. I’ll list a few of mine:

1.) I use music to help me reminisce about the past. If I associate a certain song with a certain event, I connect that song to the event. Thus, by playing the song I can relive the event more vividly.
2.) I like to laugh. I listen to goofy music from children’s shows, video games, you name it to make myself laugh. I mean, I’m addicted to this song right now, and I’m not ashamed to admit it either. 🙂
3.) I choose music based on what I see in myself. This is to say that I choose songs that fit my personality, or feel like they were “written about me.” I think we’ve all had at least one experience like that.
4.) I like a catchy melody or a good beat. Simple as that.

So what about what we call “bad music?” Why is it bad? Here are my reasons:

1.) I reject music that conflicts with my personal beliefs and/or outlook on life. I don’t listen to much music that says that life is terrible because I love being alive, and I never listen to songs with excessive swearing. I don’t swear, and hearing profanities over and over and over and over and over again makes me uncomfortable. Not to mention that it is dreadfully trite.
2.) I reject music performed by vocalists I deem as “untalented.” We all have our standards as to what we think is a good singer and a bad singer. I don’t listen to Christina Aguilera because I hate her voice, but I acknowledge and respect that many people regard her as one of the most talented artists on the face of the planet.
3.) I often reject music that had succumbed to commercialism. When I think a band or artist has “sold out” (think of An Café) I typically ignore their work.

As you can see from the above lists, there is no legitimate proof to define any music I hear as good or bad. It is a matter of distinguishing fact from opinion. All of my numbered statements above were obviously opinions.

So, is there a science to what we deem to be good or bad music? I think not. All people have their own standards for musical quality, which are influenced by too many sources to name. We are all unique, as individuals and as connoisseurs of music. So take a step back the next time you think a piece of music or artist is completely terrible. Its okay to feel that way, but take the time to recognize there is at least one person in this world who likes it. You’ll feel better and gain a deeper appreciation for music as a whole. Music connects us all.


Filed under Sakurayume's Collection, Special Articles

This Is Just Plain “Cruel”


I think I may be eating my words from this post. Yeah, yeah, I still think its cool that Beckii is enjoying herself with her career and entertaining her fortysomething year old perv fanbase, but enough is enough. If you’ve been keeping up with the Cruel Angels, as in reading the Beckii thread at Jpopmusic you’ll know that since Beckii’s popularity soared, a whole crop of girls calling themselves Cruel Girls have started posting their pathetic, talentless videos on YouTube in hopes of being just like Beckii.

New flash, girlies. Beckii, Sarah, and Gemma GOT LUCKY. We can’t all be Cruel Angels, mmmkay? Stop copying! I’m not about to sit here and watch an all-gaijin AKB48/MoMusu style unit get formed. Noooo sankyuu. That would be a “cruel” thing to do to the Japanese music industry. I’ll be excited when this cute-thin-gaijin-girls-jumping-around-on-Youtube fad goes down the toilet and we can all go back to reality.

Do I still love Beckii? As a person, yes. She’s still sweet and adorable as ever. But from a professional point of view, I want to smack her for creating this terrible monster.

Pointless/offensive rant is over.



Filed under Japanese Pop, Sakurayume's Collection, Special Articles

Ohhhhhh, Spring!

My favorite season of all is here, bringing all manner of flora and fauna, as well as the Japanese music scene, back to life. Seems like all good things come in the spring; warmer temperatures, lifted spirits, and some of the year’s best music. Let’s take a moment to talk about this Spring’s releases that I’m most excited about!

First we have Ai Otsuka’s Zokkondition/Lucky Star. Ai has always been a favorite artist of mine but ever since her last “actual” album, Love Letter, her stuff has just been hit or miss for me. I predict this single is going to fare about as well as Ai’s other recent stuff, which is not too hot. The covers for the single are either loved or hated, no gray area here. Both PVs are wacky in their own right. Lucky Star is like a pseudo-GaGa acid trip, and Zokkondition has Ai adopting another hideous blonde wig reminiscent of AisuxTime’s PV. As for the songs, Lucky Star is great but Zokkondition makes me want to hurl a Piplup like a javelin. (OMG, Alisa, how could you hurt a Piplup!?) Her vocals are plain terrible and I hope I never hear that song again. Seriously. Lucky Star should have been the leading A-side, not this junk that makes me want to go jam out to Beckii Cruel’s Danjo instead.

Popular Visual-Kei band D is in full bloom with their newest album 7th Rose, which drops next week. If you read my earlier post about this, then you’ll know that I am skeptical of the album’s quality based on the tracks available at this point. Just let me say that this is the review I am most excited about doing, and part of me expects to be pleasantly surprised by the album. Let’s hope..

Another release everybody’s talking about is Perfume’s Natural Ni Koishite, their first release since the hit album Triangle. I’m loving this song because its sounds like Spring! Its poppy and fizzy and sugary! This song is like drinking a very fresh can of soda. Its not on the level of Night Flight, but its great in its own right and the PV is sweet and simplistic. I’m looking forward to the b-side because Perfume can usually crank out some good ones. (23:30!? Edge!?)

Last thing I want to talk about is the upcoming release from my favorite duo ever, Vanilla Beans! Witch Hunting, (title subject to change) won’t be here until May but I’m beyond excited. It seems as though Vanilla Beans are gaining popularity, as they have recently appeared in a CM for a Japanese deodorant. I haven’t heard any other news about the single other than the expected release date, so I have no idea what its going to be like, but I can only hope it is awesome!

These are the releases I’m most pumped about this Spring! What are yours?

Peace, Love, and Spinarak Webs,


Filed under Sakurayume's Collection, Special Articles

New Buttons!

So, I finally gave in and made some new buttons for you guys to link me with. Since XodiacK is pretty much dead now, I figured my current button would be irrelevant. Click my Affiliates tab to see the new buttons! I must warn you, the Beckii Cruel one is ingenious.

Let me know what you think! Happy linking!

Join me next time for my fascinating dissection of this Spring’s most anticipated releases!



Filed under Sakurayume's Collection

“Tsubasa wo Kudasai” – Beckii Cruel feat. Cruel Angels

Leave Beckii Alone!!! SHE'S A HUMAN!!! (lol)

Long story short, Beckii Cruel is a fourteen year old British girl who somehow gained Youtube stardom and a record deal in Japan by dancing badly to J-pop tunes. She released a steaming pile of dog crap called “Danjo” and then two other random girls, Sarah and Gemma, got plopped in with her to release this single called “Tsubasa wo Kudasai.”

Track 1- Tsubasa wo Kudasai: In typical idol fashion, a somewhat decent song gets trashed by zero talent and zero charisma. The vocals are okay for the most part, but it gets annoying after just one listen.

Track 2- Tsuki no Kakera: I think it takes a really really good song to show someone’s limitations. Haters back off, this song is great. I mean, the melody is great, at least. The vocals are horrible and the dancing is plain awkward but the song is outstanding. I think that this song should be re-recorded and released by a group with actual talent. (AHEM AHEM PERFUME COUGH HACK)

In Conclusion: I know this is going to sound insensitive but you know its true. The secret to Beckii Cruel’s enormous popularity in Japan comes from this simple formula.

Underage girl + Dancing in costumes = Happy Japanese Pervs

Just you wait. I predict a whole crop of hentai popping up showing girls wearing Beckii’s trademark fuzzy earmuffs.

There’s really no other way to explain it. Beckii (and the other girls) can’t sing, can’t dance, and probably can’t retain any Japanese more complex than “arigatou.” Japanese spoken with a heavy British accent is just awful. I’m not going to judge though. I’m from the boondocks of Kentucky. I’m pretty sure my Japanese doesn’t sound too hot either. Just sayin’.

After this biting review, you would get the impression that I want to rip Beckii and the other Cruel Angels to shreds. This is simply untrue. I think that they are having a lot of fun and what they do makes them happy. I would never want to discourage someone from following their dream, even if they suck terribly at it. (which they do, to be frank) Plus, if you’ve ever seen Beckii’s Youtube videos, then you understand how her spirit and personality wins you over immediately. She seems like the sweetest girl.

So, I’ll be keeping up with Beckii and the Angels. At least until they become “legal” and Japan suddenly doesn’t want them anymore.



Filed under Japanese Pop, Sakurayume's Collection