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Poppy - I Disagree (Album Review)

Thursday, 16 January 2020 Written by Laura Johnson

What the fuck is going on with Poppy? That’s the burning question being asked by those who have stumbled across the campaign for her new album, ‘I Disagree’, which serves as a reboot of her musical persona by switching out tooth-achingly sweet pop for something approaching nü-metal revival.

Your next question might well be, isn’t this also the girl whom everyone thought was a robot a few years ago? The one who interviewed a plant on YouTube? Well, yes to both. The girl who calls herself a multimedia experience? Also, yes. The girl who navigated lawsuits and online conspiracy theories on her way to severing ties with creative partner Titanic Sinclair? Yes, that’s her.

Poppy, real name Moriah Pereira, parted ways with Sinclair in December, citing “manipulative patterns” in a statement. ‘I Disagree’ is their final collaboration together, and Sinclair has writing credits on all of the album’s tracks, alongside Poppy, Chris Greatti and Zakk Cervini.

The latter pair also produced the record, having previously worked on Poppy’s Fever 333 collaboration Scary Mask. They’re no strangers to a genre crossover, either, with Blink-182 and Yungblud on their CVs.

Poppy may have dipped her toe in the rock pool with the 2019 EP ‘Choke’ and tracks such as X from 2018’s ‘Am I A Girl?’, but ‘I Disagree’ pushes the envelope much further. The record is an experience, fusing face-melting metal and breakneck beats with flashes of the sickly teen pop found on her debut, 2017’s ‘Poppy.Computer’.

Elsewhere, there is industrial exploration to be found on Bloodmoney, an early ‘00s pop vibe on Nothing I Need, rave beats on Sit, Stay, and classic rock guitar lines on closer Don’t Go Outside. And, with listeners’ attention spans diminishing, ‘I Disagree’ is strategically composed. It flits erratically between ideas, continuously shifting focus and leaving little time for the listener to absorb anything beyond face value. 

Lyrically, meanwhile, Poppy has matured, allowing us greater insight into her state of mind, which it turns out is not as vacuous as her early output led us to believe. Sit, Stay is a commentary on conformity, while Anything Like Me could be read as a brazen statement on her evolution and success. 

Poppy’s also embraced her more menacing side, as is clear from her new goth-rock, Torture Garden-influenced aesthetic and the record’s black metal-esque artwork. “Bury me six feet deep, cover me in concrete, turn me into a street,” she repeats ominously on opener Concrete, while the title track finds her defiant and destructive: “Let it all burn down, burn it to the ground, we'll be safe and sound when it all burns down.” 

There are moments throughout when Poppy departs from her trademark emotionless composure and really throws herself into it, particularly with her screams on Bite Your Own Teeth. But you cannot listen to something in a vacuum, and considering the album with the cynicism of someone who went down a Poppy-shaped online rabbit hole it’s impossible not to be skeptical that this move into metal is just an alternative route to the limelight she openly craved in her then character’s early career. “You can be anyone you want to be,” are the final words on the album. It’s a loaded statement.

Poppy Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Thu March 12 2020 - MANCHESTER Manchester Academy 2
Fri March 13 2020 - GLASGOW Cathouse
Sat March 14 2020 - BIRMINGHAM O2 Academy2 Birmingham
Sun March 15 2020 - LONDON Heaven

Click here to compare & buy Poppy Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

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