Poppy – I Disagree (Sumerian Records)

There aren’t enough gimmicks in music nowadays. Yes, there is a cynical view that everyone in the industry is portraying a character to some degree, but the delightfully over the top Poppy takes that theory to new levels of insanity.

Anyone that has heard of Moriah Rose Pereira – or her alter ego, Poppy – will already be all too aware of the ludicrously over the top character that was created just a few years ago. For everyone else the seemingly autonomous android-like Poppy released a series of nightmarish YouTube videos. Despite having very little in the way of followers, verified Vevo and other social media accounts appeared back in 2014.

A bubblegum, sickly sweet persona seemed to mask a darker truth. Despite the release of a K-pop style album, the mystery continued through references to ‘them’. With each album becoming more and more experimental, but more mature and almost techno/synth in style what followed next was something of a shock.

Which leads us to latest album, I Disagree. An Industrial/Nu Metal explosion of noise that is as bonkers as anything that has come before.

Shredding guitars and robotic chants collide with lyrics that hint towards an emancipation of her previous pop princess persona. Littered throughout each track are meta references to breaking free of ‘them’, a clear jibe at being pushed into an image and sound never made for her. Think BabyMetal on steroids.

Beatle-esque, K-pop and ballad style sections are jarringly smashed into heavy metal riffs. It shouldn’t work, yet somehow it does. Title track I Disagree is a clear standout and an example of the impeccable production that has been afforded to the album.

“There’ll never be anything like me” is repeated throughout the heavily Marilyn Mason influenced Anything Like Me. The irony of the lyrics matched with an eerily similar beat to Beautiful People, would normally be somewhat delicious. Here it is acutely self-aware.

The new generation of artists like Poppy and Billie Eilish, clearly display an ascension from conforming to single genres on an album, perfectly mirroring today’s modern society.

This will divide music lovers but the sheer audacity and brashness of it all will leave you perplexed, stunned and kind of impressed.

Andrew Spoors