POPPY – CHOKE REVIEW

Poppy, the internet’s favorite Avante-Garde creepy kawaii robot princess Barbie, is back with a new awesome/weird EP. If you don’t know who Poppy is, she is an online content creator and musician who has had a lot of virality from her various weird and creepy videos over the last few years. Through her collaboration with director/musician Titanic Sinclair, Poppy has created this strange and scary world through her content that pokes fun at a lot of negative trends in today’s popular culture. When Poppy first started making music, it was very kawaii and bubblegum sounding, obviously inspired by a lot of weird electronic music and J-pop. Although I did enjoy this style of music from her, I did hope she would make her music as strange and intense as the aesthetic of her online persona. Poppy started to achieve that in 2018 with her album Am I a Girl. For the most part, the album still has her glitzy electro-pop feel, but the tone is a lot darker and 90s sounding. The last two songs on this album are the highlights, and still two of my favorite songs of hers to date. “Play Destroy,” which features Grimes, is literally half nu-metal, and half alt-rock. It is totally a new sound for Poppy, and kind of leans into the glitchy and creepy vibe of her character. “X” is just as hard hitting. This song is also segmented into parts like “Play Destroy” is, being half 60s style sunny pop rock and half death metal. These two songs are totally different from anything she has done so far. When she dropped her first single for her new EP, Choke, which is called ‘Voicemail,’ I was very excited she is continuing to go in a more Avante-Garde direction with her music. And Choke does not disappoint, guys.

The EP starts out with the song called ‘Choke,’ and sets a hell of a tone for the rest of the project. ‘Choke’ is a scary, dystopian, and futuristic-sounding industrial techno song. It literally reminds me of something that would be in movies like Resident Evil or Gothika. Sonically, this is so much closer to the feelings that her videos give viewers, and is a really strong start to this EP. Lyrically, it sounds like Poppy is slowly descending into madness. She raps about having her demon take control of her, while her angel sits and watches hopelessly. This sentiment sets the tone for the rest of the EP. The second song on this EP, the aforementioned ‘Voicemail,’ has a somewhat similar style of instrumental to the first track, with the song starting out with a simple beat using tons of distorted bass and progresses into a weird industrial EDM song. Once again, it feels as if Poppy’s inner demon is taking control of her, and she can’t do anything about it. The song starts out with her rapping “I can’t feel my fingers. I can’t feel my toes. There’s blood on my necklace and blood on my clothes. I called up the police; their voicemail was full. I guess I’m just out here all on my own.”

The third song of the EP, “Scary Mask,” features nu-metal artist FEVER333, is another one of Poppy’s half metal, half something else songs, with the something else this time being chill surf rock. The song begins with that surf rock vibe, and with Poppy beautifully singing over it. It very quickly changes into a thrashing metal song, with FEVER333 rap-screaming in a very intense and unintelligible fashion. Like ‘X,’ this song abruptly changes sounds more than once. I love the style of the songs because it keeps you on the edge of your seat; every time you relax the song gets intense, and every time you want to break something it chills out again. ‘Meat,’ the fourth song on the EP, is once again more of an industrial techno track, with the vocals in the verses being screamed and distorted in an unintelligible matter. On the chorus, the intense feel of the instrumental slows down a bit, with the bass calming down and the focus on the anxious melody ramping up. It sort of feels like ‘Play Destroy,’ because the change in sound on the chorus is similar enough to the verses to feel like the same song but still throws me for a loop for sure. The last song ‘Holy Mountain,’ is a beautiful piano rock song. The riff of this track reminds me a lot of ‘My Immortal’ by Evanescence. In the lyrics, Poppy is asking God to show her the way, further playing on the storyline of her character that she is supposed to run her own church. Although the song still has her creepy and dystopian vibe, this song has the most vulnerable tone a Poppy song has had so far; it shows a sweeter and more genuine side to her.

I love this EP a lot, guys. It might be my favorite project of the year so far by anyone besides Anger Management by Rico Nasty. I would love for Poppy to make a whole full-length album with the same tone of this EP. Regardless of what Poppy does next, though, I am sure I will love it. She has just continued to get better every year and she is showing no signs of slowing down. Listen to the EP with the link below!

9/10

https://open.spotify.com/album/5butUAMQEYVZAeQEFuhG3J?si=FZdHIprZSxed0jJ0yU0gTw

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