Written by Sabine Hovnanian
As someone who dives deep into the pool of metal music, I never expected to enjoy an album as much as Poppy’s I Disagree. I had always been a fan of her music, but once she released this album, her artistry had my full attention. So many artists of this generation have taken the steps to change up their genres which have catalyzed their careers such as Miley Cyrus (new female rockstar of Gen Z). Poppy, formerly known as “That Poppy”, started out her music career doing covers of songs and making promotional videos which featured her speaking in a monotone voice. This got the attention of many, which then led her to be signed to Island Records under the alias of “That Poppy”. This is when she released her first single, “Everyone Wants to Be Poppy ”, then EP: Bubblebath. This EP featured songs: “Lowlife”, “Money”, “Altar”, and “American Kids”. Personally, I was not the biggest fan of this release, because of its simple pop sound. Although, once I began to listen to her music released as “Poppy”, I became more of a fanatic.
Before I get to talking about I Disagree, I think it is important to mention the album that gave Poppy a nudge in the right direction: Am I a Girl?. This record features some of my favorite songs, such as “Time is Up” featuring Diplo, “Aristocrat”, “Play Destroy” (the ultimate collaboration with Grimes), and “X” which then was released as an acoustic single as well. “X” specifically features heavy and hardcore metal sounds which I find interesting because it is the last track on the album. Thus, preceding I Disagree: Poppy’s renowned metal rock album. Am I a Girl? includes a blend of alternative songs which provide a smooth transition from her pink pop aesthetic, to her now hardcore grunge sound.
I Disagree features songs that include heavy contrasts such as Poppy’s soft head voice paired with muted melodies against a whining tone paired with screeching guitar. In my opinion, I think this alludes to her era of making her dystopian, abstract YouTube videos. It pays homage to the unsettling nature of anything she had produced. Any metal artist would do this in their work. Some of my personal favorites on this record include “I Disagree”, “BLOODMONEY”, “Anything Like Me”, “Sit/Stay”, and (my #1): “Don’t Go Outside”. This one includes bits of all the other songs featured on the album as a closing track. The sound of the album uses a lot of heavy, distorted guitar, along with dark electronic sounds. This blend introduces a new layer to metal rock. I generally listen to older metal from the 70’s and 80’s (like Sabbath and Judas Priest), so hearing dense electronic tones and sounds in a metal album like I Disagree is incredibly refreshing to me.
Ultimately, it is extremely inspiring to see a female artist release such astonishing material as a nu-metal album. Poppy’s craft continues to uplift the idea that anyone can take inspiration from a genre, such as metal, and make their own spin on it.