Poppy - Flux Music Album Reviews

Poppy - Flux Music Album Reviews
Music has always been just one aspect of the former YouTuber’s cryptic multimedia experience, but Flux makes it finally feel like the most important one.

There’s an entire subgenre of videos dedicated to catching the YouTuber and walking avatar Poppy breaking character. These clips present their findings as a kind of gotcha journalism—watch as Poppy’s soft voice sharpens in response to an unpleasant interview question, or as she laughs through a bit she should be playing straight. The artist and musician born Moriah Pereira dove headfirst into the uncanny valley with her early video work, creating an android-like character whose cheerily flat speech and demeanor felt like a Lynchian satire of vloggers. The Poppy persona was so unsettling that seeing the person behind it briefly appear human was disturbing in its own way, like witnessing a glitch in the matrix. But over the past few years, Poppy’s albums have increasingly offered revealing glimpses of the woman behind the mask. Flux is her most unguarded work yet, and it’s the closest we’ve come yet to meeting the real Poppy.

On 2020’s I Disagree, Poppy flicked a lit match at her YouTube-era identity, charring its edges with chaotic hyperpop and nu-metal riffage. She couldn’t fully burn her former self down, though, at least not when her former creative partner Titanic Sinclair was still involved. (Sinclair co-wrote every song on I Disagree and directed two of its music videos, though he and Poppy had parted ways at the end of 2019 after she accused him of manipulative behavior.) On Flux, she finishes the job. The album’s catharsis feels convincingly raw, and the anarchic genre mashups that could sometimes feel shticky on I Disagree have been subsumed into something more seamless. She’s still a musical polymath, but she’s learned how to channel her omnivorous tastes into a cohesive whole.

Most of the textures Poppy explores on Flux are rooted in rock music, and she spends much of the record sounding more like the frontwoman of a killer band than a pop star. That’s perhaps an inevitable result of recording live in the studio with her touring musicians, a decision that lends the songs a sweaty, electric frisson. Poppy and her band work through excursions into pop-punk, shoegaze, grunge, dream pop, and in a few carefully chosen moments, the metallic fury that served as I Disagree’s calling card. Where that album delighted in smuggling a Slipknot riff into sugary pop like a razorblade in a candy apple, Flux comes by its bursts of heaviness more honestly. At the climax of “On the Level,” Poppy’s self-proclaimed “first love song,” a chugging thrash passage overtakes the mix. It’s overwhelming in the way that falling in love is, channeling that rush of blood that makes your head swim. “Sometimes love will find you, and it comes at the most unexpected of times, and it’s a nice feeling,” Poppy told DIY of her recent engagement to vampiric shock-rapper Ghostemane. “On the Level” invites us to share in that feeling.

Elsewhere, Poppy taps into her rage. The vicious pop-punk of “Lessen the Damage” sounds like Paramore with harsh vocals—a “good 4 u” for the Hot Topic set. “Her” is one of several songs that feels like a pointed rebuke of her ousted collaborator: “Give her a taste/Take it away/Under your thumb/Tell her to stay.” Its empowering chorus is a moment of triumph for this new, liberated Poppy, who “picked herself up, put her back together.” Delivering such obviously autobiographical lines in the third person is a canny touch from an artist still in the process of shaking off the character she once played. When the storming metal guitars return deep into the otherwise serene closing track, “Never Find My Place,” Poppy screams “You broke into my life!” over and over. The effect is purifying.

Music has always been just one aspect of the Poppy multimedia experience, but Flux makes it finally feel like the most important one. It’s been a long journey, from going viral with a cotton-candy ASMR video to making the kind of vibrant, sophisticated pop songs that populate the album. Yet every previous version of Poppy—every outdated operating system—informs who she is today. “So Mean” is the only song on Flux where she reverts to her former character’s small, synthetic voice, to ask “How did I get here?” That’s a big question, but with Flux, it feels like Poppy’s finally on her way to answering it.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Poppy - Flux Music Album Reviews Poppy - Flux Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on October 06, 2021 Rating: 5


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