Poppy – I Disagree (2020)

I recently happened upon the debut album from ThemTube star gone metal musician Poppy, and I have no idea what in the hell Sumerian are trying to do here. Obviously, metal is becoming the music of the outcast and certainly we must litter the music of the outcast with fragrant bubblegum pop music, as is the case here. A friend of mine actually linked me to some early videos from the artist that are a bit creepy and I believe that her handler Titanic Sinclair probably got up to some Mk-Ultra, Monarch, Beta Kitten, whatever kinda shit – even though I haven’t really been on the conspiracy train since 2012. Hence the abuse, which if I recall correctly; is part of the goddamned rituals to begin with. I mean, “duh” at this point. I kind of wish Hollywood and the rest of the entertainment industry would just come out and say it, “Yeah, we’ve been brainwashing artists in these weird rituals since the seventies and even before that. They’re all puppets and you’re still going to buy their shit.” Poppy could literally come out and make a statement that she was brainwashed, along with the names of the handlers and corporate arms responsible, then call herself a puppet and claim that “everyone would still buy her shit.” It’s like Ricky Gervais said, “the devil himself could open up a streaming service tomorrow and you’d be on the phone with your agent.” So a statement like this wouldn’t even shock me. There could be a fucking barcode on the back of her head and I’d be okay with that. It is what it is, we still buy the products. Shut up and spend money.

Aside from that, “I Disagree” is pretty much what you’d expect for a media product. It basically copies all the modern pop trends, like industrial, electronica and all that other stuff that Brian Posehn made fun of on “New Music Sucks.” It’s the same old shit. Difference is that there are some djent guitars here and there because the mainstream media considers that and deathcore to be the whole of heavy metal nowadays. So ladies and gentlemen, it does djent. God fucking forbid. I did like one song, “Don’t Go Outside” for it’s far more tasteful atmospheric approach, but whoever is playing that godawful guitar needs to have their head examined. There’s supposed to be a solo number here, but apparently no one signed to Sumerian can play a guitar solo to save their lives; so we’re left with a terribly scratchy kind of thing that feels like an unnecessary afterthought – not to mention something that the label must have had leftover from the cutting room floor.

Aside from all of these complaints, I have just one more. As old Poppa Gundam would say, “I’m sorry honey, but you’re just not Japanese.” I’ll give them the fact that opener “Concrete” is influenced by J-Pop and in particular early BabyMetal, but as one of the biggest goddamned weebs on this planet; I’ll tell you that the J-Pop influenced chorus does not work in English. It just fucking doesn’t. Some of you may not know this, but as I have been watching a lot of anime lately (thank Raging Golden Eagle for that and please support Blade Devil while you’re at it) I found that I quite enjoy regular J-Pop as much as J-Rock or J-Metal. Conversely, a lot of J-Pop also features at least one or more guitar based selections; so it works for me being a fan of guitar in general. And yes, I know people who hate western music so much that they’ve described their personal playlists as anime soundtracks. So there are people in the world who primarily listen to music featured in anime.

My ears tuned immediately to the Japanese infusions, but it just sounded like a weird dub of anime music. Now don’t get me wrong as I enjoy anime dubs and have since I got into the stuff as a boy in the early nineties, but I have all the problems in the world when those dubs go into the OP or ED themes in any state. An example of this bastardization would have to be in Dragon Ball GT. Although not very popular, it had one of my favorite ED themes later in the series. Funimation being the bastards that they are, decided to not only re-record the piece, but to perform English translations of the vocals in the dub. This isn’t the first time something like that has happened and fans haven’t forgotten about it. My only exception to this would be Animetal USA which was actually tuned for Japanese ears by Marty Friedman, most known for his Japanese work and of course; Megadeth. Also, unlike Poppy’s direct lift of the chorus from J-Pop, Animetal USA were crafting power metal revisions of classic anime themes, so there was a stark difference. That said, this weeb was not impressed with Poppy’s dub there and maybe she’ll do it in Japanese next time.

Ultimately, the whole thing sounds like a proof of concept and shows off all the unique styles that Poppy can achieve here. Though let us be clear, this is not and never was what I would consider to be a heavy metal record of any musical caliber. It is an experimental record, of which metal is only a piece. I do not mind experimental albums, but this is not the future of metal and I don’t believe that it ever will be. My cold black heart goes out to her for dealing with god knows what for the number of years that it took to plunge herself into the mainstream, but hopefully being free of that bizarre fellow with a name that sounds like it came out of a bad fan-fiction erotica will be the best thing that ever happened to her. No doubt this is the kind of woman who should probably be in rehab and not doing tours, but that’s the long and short of the entertainment industry. Once again, just shut up and buy the product. Oh and by the way, I think that the videos are a bit more inventive than the album itself, so I would definitely check those out. Most of these tracks did already go up on ThemTube in some for or another, so definitely check them out.

5.0

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