Album Review: I Disagree by Poppy
By Sebastian Lee
Bubblegum pop princess turned heavy metal matriarch, Poppy, has reinvented herself in the new decade with her latest album, I Disagree.
Upon her first two releases, the EP Bubblebath and album Poppy.Computer, Poppy’s sound was a simple mix of bubblegum pop and synth/electro pop. While there was there wasn’t much depth, they were both solid releases that provided a unique sound for pop.
It was Poppy’s last full-length release that added depth to her music. It was Am I a Girl? that expanded Poppy’s sound and identity with its transition into Nu-metal sounds on the last few tracks.
Today, Poppy likes to call herself post genre, so she doesn’t have to be restricted to any genre conventions. I Disagree mixes pop, metal and at times, trap for a seriously unique sound.
The opening song, “Concrete,” sets the tone with its high energy metal. However, there are multiple breaks in the metal to allow for a more pop-like sound. The duality can best be demonstrated with the lyrics “Break me off a piece of tasty treat / sugar in my teeth, demons in my dreams / watch me while I sleep.”
The titular track, “I Disagree” follows the model of metal with pop vocals and pop music breaks. The differences between the two songs is that the “I Disagree” does it much better with its spectacular guitar riffs and addicting chorus. General rule of thumb, if you are going to name a song after the album it needs to be one the better song on the album. “I Disagree” absolutely is.
“BLOODMONEY” is another very metal track, but with portions of trap beats. The guitar solo towards the end is awesome and the way the song ends with piano and a much softer vocals makes for a great transition to the next track.
“Anything like me” is one the more the more unique and vocal interesting songs on I Disagree. Starting off sweetly with piano before the beat picks up. In the chorus, the song is essentially what Taylor Swift’s “Look what you made me do” would sound like if it had an electro metal edge to it with Poppy chanting “you shouldn’t be anything like me.”
“Fill the Crown” starts off very electro, but transitions into one the heaviest guitars on the album. To compliment the heavier parts Poppy is given some back-up vocals that sound extremely similar to Marilyn Manson. The bridge in the song is especially interesting.
The second half of the album takes a turn away from metal.“Nothing I need” and “Sit and Stay” are both tracks that could fit perfectly onto Am I a girl? The former has heavy lo-fi influence with a pinch of trap. The later starts a little heavier like a 90s parkour song but becomes a really cool electro pop track.
“Bite your own teeth” is the last hurrah for the metal sound of the album. While there doesn’t seem to be much depth to the track, it does do some very interesting things when it pauses from the metal. At one point the song sounds like a cartoon intro before immediately returning to metal.
The last two tracks are where the last half of the album shines. Starting with the lyrical anthesis to Sheryl Crowes’s “Soak up the Sun,” is “Sick of the Sun.” The song sees the use of acoustic guitar and a trap beat which all compliment an overall lo-fi sound.
The albums conclude with the song “Don’t Go Outside” which features acoustic guitar again, but this time in a fashion that’s reminiscent of a hair band love ballad or the beginning of Metallica’s “the Unforgiven”. At two points during the song, the song bursts with a menacing electric guitar riff like something out of Pink Floyd’s The Wall. The song then concludes with Poppy singing the choruses to “I Disagree,” “Fill the Crown” and “Concrete” at the same time, but a much slower tempo to match the rest of the song. The song and album come to a close with a sing note from a triangle. Overall, “Don’t Go Outside” has incredible musical depth and is a spectacular end to a great album.
I Disagree not only expands Poppy’s sound but challenges genre conventions as a whole. The album is possibly the best album on Poppy’s discography and is at the very least her most unique. While most bands eventually just become pop, Poppy has done the opposite and turned her pop into something far more interesting.