On her third studio album, Youtuber, singer-songwriter, musician, and pseudo-religious leader Poppy takes a ferocious stylistic swerve from her previous works’ mood. I Disagree is a bizarre musical Frankenstein made of electro-pop, industrial metal, j-pop, and kawaii music. It is also able to incorporate at the same time the surf-rock melodies of bands like The Beach Boys, and metalcore breakdowns à la Killswitch Engage, all in the runtime of a single song.
A tracklist full of contrasts
Concrete starts with a granitic metal riff that leads to a Queen inspired sugar pop chorus held up by a blast beat, and again into a metal section. In the end, the coda seems a rip-off from a Katy Perry hit, in which Poppy begs the listener to “bury me six feet deep and just/cover me in concrete please/ Turn me into a street”.
In I Disagree, the alienating fashion of the chorus comes from the contrast between the heaviness of the riff and Poppy’s angelic voice saying that: “We’ll be safe and sound/ When it all burns down”.
Bloodmoney and Sit/Stay instead present the more industrial side of the album, with their grimy noises and distortions processed into a typical pop song structure.
This musical oddity is not a delirium. The record shows a particular consistency: it seems that the American singer realized her awful position as an android-like Barbie-girl kind of artist, a depersonalized mass-object only used to entertain bored audiences. This project should be the answer to this epiphany: a ravenous scream of liberation from the tyranny of mainstream pop labels and their expectations.
Aside from this interpretation, which could also be a well-played marketing strategy, the tracklist presents itself as inspired and fluid. Through heavy dynamic structure, 35 minutes of musical schizophrenia cast the listener, passing from one genre to another without expectations or warnings. A strange alternative metal record takes a unique approach ironizing heavily on the internet culture’s problematic clichés.
You can listen to Poppy’s I Disagree on Spotify.