Poppy - I Disagree review



Reviewer:
7.5

48 users:
6.79
Band: Poppy
Album: I Disagree
Release date: January 2020


01. Concrete
02. I Disagree
03. Bloodmoney
04. Anything Like Me
05. Fill The Crown
06. Nothing I Need
07. Sit/Stay
08. Bite Your Teeth
09. Sick Of The Sun
10. Dont Go Outside


I'm about as hip to current trends in pop music and internet culture as your average suburban father of two,* so (That) Poppy, who has two albums and a preestablished YouTube career that I have no intention of researching further, is a complete unknown to me. Radu tried to make me watch this video, which would seem to explain everything I'd need in the way of background, but aside from the fact that these days I don't have enough spare time to fill a thimble, I just don't really care even slightly and I'd rather stick my hands in a toaster than have to learn about some other thing that other people are paying attention to for whatever reason. Unfortunately for my schedule, it appears that Poppy's previous career is bursting with important artistic and personal context for this record, so I was ultimately coerced into watching this video instead, and if you have the faintest interest in uncovering some of that context, you might as well watch it, too.

And now I know a thing or two about where Poppy is coming from (Hollywood's an infernal cesspool, by the way, and you should never go there), but (and I suspect that I will not be alone in this predicament) I am still operating without a safety net here, for I Disagree is as rooted in trendy, sassy electropop as it is in heavy metal. Seeing as I listened to only two pop albums from 2019, I'm lacking in points of comparison. I Disagree is the most politely confrontational name for a metal album that I've ever heard; that much I do know. It works well with the blink-and-you'll-miss-it malevolence accompanying those otherwise innocuous synthesized sentiments.

I Disagree often sounds like nothing other than the curiously delayed American version of Babymetal, most immediately in the superficial comparison to a millennial pop singer whose sugary-sweet, infectious choruses are backed by chunky alt metal riffs and screams. This strategy works well on "Bite Your Teeth" and "Fill The Crown," to name a few standouts, and the use of Japanese on the title track will help listeners put two and two together. "Concrete" blows away any pretense to seriousness right from the start with an almost-literally-bubblegum hook reminiscent of a Toki Wartooth candy fantasy. The resemblance runs even deeper, however, as I Disagree shares the penchant for stylistic exploration that has made Babymetal more than a short-lived joke. Most songs shed their metallic raiment to some degree, whether to wander into a breathy dreampop bridge, evaporate into a summery indie rock chorus, or ground up an industrial hip-hop verse. The calm, relaxed "Nothing I Need" and "Sick Of The Sun" never venture into metal to begin with.

Poppy has entered the pit of metal, that crusty, hairy, beer-soaked underbelly of music, at a time when all genres can be mixed and matched at will, whether as an eight-second meme or for the duration of an entire album. For that reason, the mélange of sonic references slipped between disparate bookends doesn't sound as unnatural as it would have a decade ago. Sitting next to curious tips to Queen, Beach Boys, and others I'm not prepared to substantiate are more obvious influences from Motionless In White, Marilyn Manson, and Korn, along with whatever artists I ought to name-drop to conjure the proper image of cutesy deathcore that Poppy embraces for a significant portion of this album. This particular avenue is, I believe, the 2010s outgrowth of/successor to scene kid music that I, for one, did not need, but when packaged as acerbic moody-teenager pop with some drop-C riffs underneath, it all shakes out to be pretty listenable. Sumerian Records finally graduated from middle school and now has an angsty teenage daughter it has to relate to, and I guess that's why the title track reminds me of… Muse?

I Disagree is a very passable experiment; Poppy stretches her vocal capabilities, sometimes crooning gently, sometimes spitting violently, sometimes just talking in that uncanny alien voice of hers. The songs are all suitably catchy, whether filthy industrial nu metal or squeaky-clean pop. This is, in its essence, a pop album: well-produced, digestible, and mostly in the three-minute range. Though Poppy herself receives songwriting credit and her tumultuous career up to this point suggests a certain level of personal interest in the lyrics, a layer of cowriters, producers, and studio musicians insulates I Disagree from the world around it; perhaps it's part of Poppy's persona, but the whole venture feels a bit stiff and overproduced, as interesting as it can be, and more than any excess of melody or aesthetic contradiction, that artificiality - or the appearance thereof - is the hurdle I find most difficult to overcome with pop music. This is a bright, absurd, and fun album that I've enjoyed listening to, but will I think about it much a month or two from now? I don't know. Some listeners might object that I have no business being so lukewarm about this album when I do nothing but fawn over Babymetal. I agree. But here we are.

*I'm not a suburban father of two. It's a simile. I just thought I should clarify.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 9
Production: 8


 



Written on 23.02.2020 by I'm the reviewer, and that means my opinion is correct.


Comments

Comments: 11   Visited by: 184 users
23.02.2020 - 21:06
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
At last.
----
- I've dreamt of that for years.
- Dying?
- Running.




2020 goodies
Loading...
24.02.2020 - 03:15
Karlabos
Weirdo of MS
I'm interested in this Poppy girl. Her stuff albeit interesting is not thaat appealing tho, but I wonder if she's gonna be able to inspire a subscene or something.
----
2016 - 2017
2018 - 2019
Loading...
24.02.2020 - 03:51
Rage71
Unless I misinterpreted your review, this seems like one to miss.
Loading...
24.02.2020 - 16:12
tiny dog ghosts
I was completely stunned at how solid this album is. Yes it's extremely pop and electronic-influenced, but I think Poppy did an extremely solid job of ADOPTING metal sound. Babymetal I always felt did not - they just stuck jpop singers on top of a metal band. Solid effort and I dig where she's going with it.
Loading...
25.02.2020 - 12:16
BloodJuNkie
Of Rivia
Each one has got the right to appreciate the music they want, but I still don't get why this band is on metalstorm. I'm not an elitist or something but this is like Billie Eilish is meeting metal or so. Apparently anything could be a trend nowadays......
Loading...
25.02.2020 - 13:28
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by BloodJuNkie on 25.02.2020 at 12:16

I still don't get why this band is on metalstorm.

Written by BloodJuNkie on 25.02.2020 at 12:16

meeting metal

There is your answer
----
- I've dreamt of that for years.
- Dying?
- Running.




2020 goodies
Loading...
25.02.2020 - 18:49
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
I disagree with the people disagreeing about Poppy being on Metal Storm. Wonderful review, my dude, and one that serves to help the expansion of the idea of what metal can really be. Regarding the Babymetal comparison, I listen to Babymetal mostly ironically and for teh lulz, but Poppy is actually an artist I see myself authentically following and enjoying for the foreseeable future. She's quite courageous with the metal/pop fusion, and I'm definitely going to buy the comic series she has coming out soon.
----
Here at the edge of this world, here I gaze at
A pantheon of oak, a citadel of stone
If this grand panorama before me is what you call God
Then God is not dead
Loading...
25.02.2020 - 19:48
Karlabos
Weirdo of MS
Written by Apothecary on 25.02.2020 at 18:49

I disagree with the people disagreeing about

Oh yeah? And I disagree with you disagreeing with the people disagreeing about that
----
2016 - 2017
2018 - 2019
Loading...
26.02.2020 - 07:52
SoUnDs LiKe PoP
It's all a show. From my research - she was "abused" and/or "mistreated" by her former manager (some Titanic guy), but I'm pretty sure it was all an act, and so now she has fled to Marilyn Manson and is "free" to unleash her true, darker side. I think the entire thing has been orchestrated, and I'm shocked that most of her fans seem too dull to figure it out.

Anyway, the music itself is okay. Not terrible, not great. But you hit it on the head with your review - this might have been edgy 10 years ago, but not now.
----
I lift weights and listen to metal
Loading...
26.02.2020 - 08:19
ScreamingSteelUS
Editor-in-Chief
Written by SoUnDs LiKe PoP on 26.02.2020 at 07:52

It's all a show. From my research - she was "abused" and/or "mistreated" by her former manager (some Titanic guy), but I'm pretty sure it was all an act, and so now she has fled to Marilyn Manson and is "free" to unleash her true, darker side. I think the entire thing has been orchestrated, and I'm shocked that most of her fans seem too dull to figure it out.

Anyway, the music itself is okay. Not terrible, not great. But you hit it on the head with your review - this might have been edgy 10 years ago, but not now.

That wasn't exactly the point I was trying to make; it might have been "edgy" 10 years ago, but I consider that neither the goal of this album nor relevant to how it sounds. What I meant is that this fusion of pop and metal has precedent now, which makes the album work better. It benefits from the context of preexisting musical progressions, viz. Babymetal, and thus blends the two styles rather naturally; there is certainly some novelty involved and that's likely the chief selling point of the album, but I think it is concocted as novelty, not to incite controversy. I sometimes forget, however, what the attitude of the larger metal scene can be like, so perhaps the very existence of the album in the first place could be seen as a provocation (or being "edgy").

As for the context behind this record being a show, forgive me if I don't find your judgment cogent without it correctly identifying the principal character (that being Titanic Sinclair). You may find interesting the second video I linked, as it will likely provide more information on the subject - not that I'm prepared to take it as the unadulterated truth either, but, being outsiders to the situation, we ought not to make such bold declamations as to its veracity. I did also allude in my review to the fact that this album has something of an artificial sound, that being the product of multiple songwriters and producers being involved in the project, but that's pop music for you. It isn't impossible for Poppy's personal motivations to have guided the concept and sound of the album even if she is not the sole creative voice behind her music, and once again we don't really have the hard numbers to prove one way or the other.
----
Row, row, fight the power
Djently down the stream

I'm the Agent of Steel.
Loading...
26.02.2020 - 08:47
SoUnDs LiKe PoP
Written by ScreamingSteelUS on 26.02.2020 at 08:19

Written by SoUnDs LiKe PoP on 26.02.2020 at 07:52

It's all a show. From my research - she was "abused" and/or "mistreated" by her former manager (some Titanic guy), but I'm pretty sure it was all an act, and so now she has fled to Marilyn Manson and is "free" to unleash her true, darker side. I think the entire thing has been orchestrated, and I'm shocked that most of her fans seem too dull to figure it out.

Anyway, the music itself is okay. Not terrible, not great. But you hit it on the head with your review - this might have been edgy 10 years ago, but not now.

That wasn't exactly the point I was trying to make; it might have been "edgy" 10 years ago, but I consider that neither the goal of this album nor relevant to how it sounds. What I meant is that this fusion of pop and metal has precedent now, which makes the album work better. It benefits from the context of preexisting musical progressions, viz. Babymetal, and thus blends the two styles rather naturally; there is certainly some novelty involved and that's likely the chief selling point of the album, but I think it is concocted as novelty, not to incite controversy. I sometimes forget, however, what the attitude of the larger metal scene can be like, so perhaps the very existence of the album in the first place could be seen as a provocation (or being "edgy").

As for the context behind this record being a show, forgive me if I don't find your judgment cogent without it correctly identifying the principal character (that being Titanic Sinclair). You may find interesting the second video I linked, as it will likely provide more information on the subject - not that I'm prepared to take it as the unadulterated truth either, but, being outsiders to the situation, we ought not to make such bold declamations as to its veracity. I did also allude in my review to the fact that this album has something of an artificial sound, that being the product of multiple songwriters and producers being involved in the project, but that's pop music for you. It isn't impossible for Poppy's personal motivations to have guided the concept and sound of the album even if she is not the sole creative voice behind her music, and once again we don't really have the hard numbers to prove one way or the other.


See, I feel the opposite. Yes, there is some precedent set by bands like Babymetal - and they are obviously trying to capitalize off of its popularity. At the same time, I think it will be what ultimately prevents the band from reaching the stardom it is obviously reaching desperately for - it's just not that novel. Ten years ago, I think they would have had a better shot.

In terms of the orchestrated drama - I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree. It seems very artificial to me, especially whenever you consider that some of the old, clearly scripted videos with Poppy and Titanic had him treating her in a dismissive way. I could be wrong - but hey, even if they legitimately have beef, there are still clearly many layers of showmanship going on with the entire act.
----
I lift weights and listen to metal
Loading...

Hits total: 1670 | This month: 66