Poppy — Flux — Album Review

Alternative | Indie | Punk | Pop

Listen on Spotify | Listen on Apple Music

It would be a disservice not to mention that there’s no other artist that sounds quite like Poppy. I certainly go that notion, when stumbling upon the Massachusetts-born singer, songwriter and YouTuber’s 2020 effort, I Disagree.

It was from that previous album, that I was also able to get a sense of Poppy’s unique style, as well as her knack for combining intensity with a pop-like vibrance, in this almost Yin and Yang fashion. With this, it led I Disagree to become one of the most impactful albums of that entire year, or at least in my mind.

Nevertheless, we arrive at the later part of 2021, where fans are blessed with Poppy’s following album, titled Flux.

This brand new album was teased with a few tracks earlier this year, such as the singles “Her” and of course this album’s title track. From these tracks especially, I could definitely sense that the Poppy style that I had been accustomed to, thanks to I Disagree, was taking a slightly different stylistic direction.

This effectively ended up transpiring on the full album upon its release. And the stylistic change of direction I speak of, is where Poppy essentially trades some of her more industrial metal attributes found on previous efforts, for something that feels more reminiscent of alternative punk or noise rock.

As a result of this, the teaser tracks especially felt a little harder to swallow than your typical teaser track. However, I am happy to write that it is a lot easier to warm up to this new sound, thanks to the entirety of Flux.

This album is quite arguably one of the most accessible records that Poppy has put out to date. And for those (unlike myself) that perhaps found projects like I Disagree to be a bit too outlandish, this new album serves as the perfect chance for new listeners to hop on board.

While we’re on the subject of harsh elements, however, there are a few qualities that Poppy has retained, that perhaps don’t mix as well with her newfound instrumental aesthetic; namely with her signature screaming vocals. The ugly clash of elements that just don’t go together seem most glaring on tracks like the aforementioned “Her”, where the mellow, more somber tone clearly wasn’t in need of any screams.

Where this album really does shine, however, is with the tracks that more openly embrace this new tone. For example, tracks like “Lessen The Damage”, “On The Level”, and “Bloom”, served as my personal highlights from Flux.

Is Flux as impactful of an album as its predecessor? I would be lying to myself if I said that it was. However, this record at least masters the qualities of being a more accessible and all-round fun listen, and a perfect way to breed brand new fans of Poppy.

Favourite Tracks: Lessen The Damage | On The Level | Bloom

Least Favourite Track: Her

Sumerian Records

Enjoyment: 7/10 | Memorability: 7/10 | Atmosphere: 8/10

Uniqueness: 8/10 | Satisfaction: 6/10 | Narrative: 7/10

Final Score: 7/10

My articles mainly revolve around music reviews and analysis. A bit like Anthony Fantano, but just a decade behind.