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Written Before Listen

She’s Poppy. She’s Poppy. She’s Poppy. Poppy is one of the most enigmatic pop artists of our time. Starting as a robot persona, Poppy transformed herself and her music into an eclectic metal style. Her 2020 album I Disagree having some amazing highlights included. After some singles and an EP, she has come out with a new album over here…Flux. Without further ado, let’s get right into it.


I think it’s always important to talk about the previous works of Poppy in most situations talking about her. Poppy started as somewhat of a joke. An internet personality more than anything. Although I think her older electropop stuff is pretty good, her music wasn’t super enjoyable until she became darker and more metal-based. It was a sound influenced by artists like Slipknot and NIN with a dream pop flare that was unique but quite undeveloped. Now we are here. This album takes any metal sounds away, but the electronic influences are even further away. She has gone completely into an alternative rock direction. Personally, it does sound more complete, but I don’t know if she is fully confident in this particular sound yet.


As this record goes, Poppy is all over the place with influences. From the classic 90s sound on the opener to the shoegaze worship on “As Strange As It Seems”, Poppy brings a wide array of styles. On “So Mean”, Poppy’s blend of Power Pop and Pop Punk sounds like something straight out of the Weezer catalog, but on “Hysteria”, we get a drum machine-backed bass intro that sounds reminiscent of Power Corruption & Lies era New Order. The track following it, “Her” goes grunge and the intro to “Bloom” reminds me of the intro to “15 Step” by Radiohead. Overall, ill say that Poppy doesn’t sound super derivative and she’s a very eclectic person. Her wide array of musical tastes have given her an advantage.


If I had to say it point blank, this album is alternative rock, but there are different types of Alternative Rock. With songs like “Hysteria” and “As Strange As It Seems”, Poppy takes the classic shoegaze sound and makes it kind of derivative. There are also some Pop Punk tracks on here like “Lessen The Damage” and “So Mean” and luckily both tracks are on a higher level of likeness on this album. Poppy does a good job blending alt-rock with punk and noise rock alongside some of her backgrounds. With tracks like “Hysteria” and “As Strange As It Seems”, Poppy returns with electronic influence but more with ethereal synths and 80s drum machines. In “Never Find My Place”, the outro brings back that Alternative Metal sound that I Disagree had. I think Poppy having this many styles in her Arsenault once again brings her musical merit up multiple scores. You already know I love versatility in music.

Vocal Performance

Now let’s talk about a very important part of Poppy’s music, her voice. If you’ve ever seen her viral videos, her voice is abnormally high. Although the voice is mainly exaggerated, Poppy herself still uses that high voice to its advantage. She has a unique singing voice and she can use it in different ways. There are tracks where she screams with a lot of force and it works, there are some angsty tracks, and those work, there are tracks where she brings a melancholic delivery and it works and there are tracks where she goes yelly with her vocal delivery and it works. What I’m saying Is that I think Poppy’s best element is her voice.


Well, I think the album is a little bit too scattered in style but also quality. It’s not like I Disagree where all of the songs go through multiple phases and styles either, what made I Disagree exciting is gone, but some of the cons are still there. For example, I think her lack of development in some styles struggles even more on this album. I also think The chord progressions are a little full as well. What I’m saying is that Alongside the ever-changing sonic aspect of this album, the quality of the song also changes drastically.


Yeah…this album was good. There are songs that I will revisit but for most of it, the tracks were good and only good. Poppy is a talented and unique artist with a wide array of styles and I can’t emphasize that enough, but the eclectic vision does bring her down at points as well.


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