Album Review: Poppy – I Disagree

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Artist: Poppy

Album: I Disagree

Genre: Pop/Nu-Metal/Metalcore/Industrial Metal

Label: Sumerian Records

Rating: 9/10

 Whenever an artist announces that they’ll release a new album consisting of sounds from a genre they’re not primarily known for, it’s hard not to be skeptical or roll your eyes upon hearing the news. There’s always that chance that the outsider not versed in the genre will regurgitate stereotypes and package it as whatever genre they’re going for. So when word caught on that musician and internet sensation “Poppy” was going to release a heavier and darker album, it unsurprisingly divided the fans that loved her sugary “Alt Pop” and immediately prompted “Metal” elitists to throw a fit, but what seemed like something that would fall into parody turned out to be rather impressive. Fucking incredible to be honest. I’ve been aware of Poppy. Though I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a fan of her previous work, i’ve always respected the unusual and artistic take on her own brand of “Pop,” and even the strange David Lynch-esque nature of her internet videos. Her new album I Disagree wasn’t necessarily a priority for me and after how stacked this year has already been so far with new releases I honestly and ashamedly had forgotten about it, but after much buzz I finally listened to it, and I was pleasantly surprised. This is the most accomplished fusion of Metal, Pop, and Electronic Music i’ve heard in a very long time. This album works on so many levels. It’s undeniably heavy, drawing influences from “Metalcore” and “Nu-Metal,” it’s immensely polished with pristine yet filthy production that incorporates elements of “Dubstep” and “Industrial,” and Poppy’s “burn shit down” attitude combined with a sense of maturity, optimism, and animated yet lush vocals are a recipe for success. Another reason why this album works is that Poppy doesn’t sound like she’s trying to sound “Metal.” She’s not throwing up devil horns while wearing a pentagram t-shirt. Instead she’s just being Poppy, a darker Poppy yes, but this progression feels genuine. Though lyrically simplistic, Poppy’s intentions are clear. They’re to inspire. To inspire us to be true to ourselves, to question authority, to be free, and to innovate, and not once does it come off as corny. To all the Metalheads that will dismiss her as a “poser” or disingenuous, think of it this way, she never actually said she was making a “Metal” album, she’s just incorporating a darker sound while showcasing her love for all things “Metal,” and by default the album is undeniably “Metal” and drags the genre kicking and screaming out of it’s element. The fact that it takes someone who’s primarily known for “Pop” to do that says a lot about your refusal to evolve. Poppy is going to do Poppy, unafraid of backlash, and that’s utterly inspiring. 

Written By: Steven Sandoval

 

Code Orange Share New Song “Swallowing The Rabbit Whole”

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Code Orange are set to release their new album UNDERNEATH on March 13th via “Roadrunner Records,” and today the band gave us another taste of the upcoming album. Titled “Swallowing The Rabbit Whole,” the song is just as vicious and rage-filled as the title suggests, and is incredibly experimental with odd time signatures and of course features an incorporation of Electronic/Industrial. The music video is just as explosive and creative. You can watch the music video below:

 

Korn’s “Issues” Turns 20

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On this day in 1999 “Korn” released their fourth album Issues. At the height of the “Nu-Metal” craze of the late 90’s, the music world became saturated with copy after copy of bands jumping on the band wagon creating trendy music devoid of originality. Though 1999 was when “Nu-Metal” was at it’s peak with bands like “Limp Bizkit” climbing the charts, (kinda laughable now isn’t it?) the genre at the same time was on it’s way out, but the pioneers of “Nu-Metal,” as is the case of most pioneering bands, “Korn” weren’t interested in repeating the “Nu-Metal” tropes they helped create, instead they experimented even further with their album Issues, but this time stripped back their sound reducing it to a simplistic heaviness, a heaviness that was immensely polished and had a new strict sense of focus thanks to producer Brendan O’Brien who didn’t allow the band to party and fool around. Issues was heavy no doubt, but this album found lead singer Jonathan Davis delivering his best and most melodic vocal work. It’s almost as if this is Korn’s Pop album, well, whatever tortured, incredibly dark, and unsettling Pop world this album can belong to. Of course “Korn” are still active today with a large devoted following of passionate fans, but Issues marked the end of an era, and displayed the band’s refusal to succumb to trends. Happy Anniversary.