Every Friday, I scour the internet for new music releases. The weekly Friday Awards will highlight my favorite discovery each week, with a special emphasis on artists that are new, new-ish, or new to me.
I will never forget listening to Poppy’s I Disagree for the first time, laughing my way through a strange series of surprises, shock, and pure bliss. If you can get through the opening track, “Concrete,” you will have received a sucker punch salad of the types of sounds and styles you can expect through the rest of the album, from goth rock and nu-metal to J-pop and industrial. It’s everything and nothing; it’s bubblegum and brilliance; it’s undeniably and exclusively Poppy.
Ironically, I had never heard of Poppy (the popular YouTuber, who has millions of views and has already released two albums) prior to checking out I Disagree upon recommendation. I’m actually thankful I went into this album blind and had the opportunity to interpret it on its own merits, which, for my money, are many. This strange record overflows with rock-solid songwriting, extremely clever genre-mashing, and top-notch production that ties it all seamlessly together. Almost every other track is an absolute highlight, from the brutal “BLOODMONEY” to the shockingly subdued “Sick of the Sun.”
Part of this record’s genius is — after spending the first half of the album training you to wonder whether a metal breakdown or a speaker-blowing electronic burst is right around the corner — it suddenly becomes just as surprising and unexpected to hear songs like “Sick of the Sun” or “Nothing I Need,” where Poppy shows off a restrained and subtle song-craft. On these softer tracks, Poppy proves she doesn’t need the gimmicks to still be great.
I Disagree was one of 2020’s very first releases, and it’s a strong contender for 2020’s best, as well.
Author’s Note: The reason I created this website and write these articles stems from my belief that artists should support other artists, in the same way that art inspires art. My debut album Unfall is out now, and I’d love for you to hear it.