That Poppy
Bubblebath


3.0
good

Review

by LotusFlower USER (24 Reviews)
July 21st, 2016 | 62 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: That Poppy: Where high quality concepts meet middling execution

That Poppy has undoubtedly established itself as the ‘oddball’ of pop music for 2016. Hailing from San Francisco, That Poppy is a collaborative effort between 15 year old vocalist Moriah Pereira, visual artist Titanic Sinclair, and Island Records. The trio have worked extensively over the last two years not only extending Poppy’s presence in the industry, but also creating a disturbing web series on YouTube following the character that is “That Poppy”. Presented as a young, blonde girl, the series follows the musician interacting with viewers in an unsettling, off-kilter mannerism. Often repeating phrases in a hypnotic state with a broken flow while accompanied with jarring cuts, visuals, and music. These videos, accompanied with her official recordings and music videos, paint what is the beginning of a comprehensive narrative. Flirting with the possibility of Poppy being a victim of what conspiracy theorists dub “Monarch Mind Control” due to her inhuman behavior and mannerisms.

Bubblebath, Poppy’s debut EP, plays into this visual/audio narrative with a four track collection of seemingly innocent pop cuts that suggest something of a far more sinister nature underneath. This narrative is presented in a revolving-door mannerism, where specific lines in each track take on a double meaning that, when sliced and pasted together, represent the backstory of where Poppy “came from” along with glimpses into the destruction of her previous identity and life. This serves to be the most interesting aspect of Bubblebath, when the album focuses on intertwining these dark elements into fun and easy-going pop songs with consistently excellent production.

Lead single “Lowlife” and third track “Altar” both display these elements at their absolute best. “Lowlife” features a slow chugging, reggae-fused guitar line and a mixture of low churning bass synths that carry an infectious hook with the passing of each horn. The track on it’s surface level details a relationship with toxic lining, referring to this hypothetical man as the “highlight to my lowlife” and covering base with Poppy experiencing abandonment issues without them. Below that however, lines begin to highlight the “dark side” of the Poppy persona with the second verse, which details “This bad taste, these headaches/Wake up on the floor again, ah yeah/My torn dress, this failed test/Soon they will be erased”. While fairly speculative, these lines illustrate the abusive experiments many alleged “monarch victims” experience through extensive drug and sex abuse.

“Altar” itself is more abstract. The track suggests a dreamy, romantic “let's get away” vibe with an overload of sugary synths and lines about a fantasy Poppy has of interrupting her love’s wedding to save him from an abusive partner. However, an “altar” shares definition with a slate where various religious rituals are performed for deities, which can be easily tied to the alleged satanic ritual abuse that goes on within the music industry. While being just two examples of this speculated narrative from those familiar with Poppy’s YouTube channel, they both display a very valid and incredibly engaging outlet that gives what are already well produced and fun singles an extra edge to make them more interesting and engaging for listeners who can piece together their own narrative provided by the project’s music and videos.

Like a revolving door however, when the EP isn’t sticking to the script, it instead deviates lyrically into cliched and often embarrassing lines and quips against the modern generation at the hand of project head Titanic Sinclair. Anyone formerly acquainted with Sinclair will be familiar with his disdain for many aspects of modern society and music. With many of his projects over exaggerating stereotypes for the sake of attacking them. While “Money” middles with average lyrics and decent electro-riff production, it’s “American Kids” where the quality of the songwriting and production nosedive. The track starts with lines blatantly telling the audience about Poppy selling her soul and undergoing experiments (“Sold my soul to the man with the handshake/Lost control but I don’t think it’s too late.) removing that layer of “piece-it-yourself” analyzing that made previously mentioned tracks fun. Beyond that the lyrics take consistent stabs at “millennials” with lines such as “Boys, aren't even boys anymore” and “My father may be gay but I don’t know” having questionable implications and a few lines about how “not like the OTHER teens” Poppy is in a completely unironic delivery. Meanwhile the track carries a boring, one tone fuzz heavy synth lead that almost seems parody of various “our generation” teen anthems such as Halsey’s “New Americana”.

While it’s duds are heavy and the inconsistency bleeds into even the best tracks of the EP, Bubblebath is an incredibly intriguing and consistently fun release that spins the narrative that fans of the Poppy character have been following for years into a new direction while still finding room to have fun despite the project’s impulsive need to stab at “kids these days”. Where the project goes next is entirely dependent on where the webseries finds itself going next, with the latest episodes seeing the character having the beginnings of an inhuman breakdown develop. Where this piece of the narrative will take the music next is an exciting thing to anticipate, and hopefully, to continue having fun with at the end of the day.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
LotusFlower
July 21st 2016


12002 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Stand Outs: Lowlife, Altar

Blowouts: American Kids

Stream Here: http://open.spotify.com/album/1OVOOQKDZaMUVhXQ2R7DQ1

Meet Poppy Here: http://youtu.be/fiF2YyiIZkY

Learn More About That Poppy Here: http://youtu.be/NmXQKMjEC8E



I have been following this project since last year and been feeling like writing something for the EP that dropped last month so here it is. Comments and criticism welcomed! Also, them website servers eh? Whats up with that.

Hellscythe
July 21st 2016


2096 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I knew when I reached the end of the first paragraph that you must've seen the Night Mind video, haha



great review for a fun little EP, have a pos

Digging: Hanging Garden - I Am Become

LotusFlower
July 21st 2016


12002 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

@hellscythe, I saw the nightmind video but I had been watching these videos since last year and I had already pieced together this little "mind control" narrative myself. A lot of people have. Theres something really alluring about Poppy, it creeps me out a bit lol.

Hellscythe
July 21st 2016


2096 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

oh yeah I know that, but Night Mind's the only person I'd seen bring up the Monarch thing specifically so I made the assumption

I'm part of an ARG puzzle-solving group that's been looking at the whole Poppy thing for a while now, it's pretty interesting

LotusFlower
July 21st 2016


12002 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Huh, didnt know there was an ARG going on. I used to be heavy into Illuminati stuff a few years back and followed blogs like Villigant Citizen religiously and did a lot of read up on MK ULTRA and the Monarch program and other such things. So a lot of the "satanic imagery" really sticks out in a lot of videos and Poppy's for Lowlife is no exception.

Hellscythe
July 21st 2016


2096 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I don't think there's any actual ARG elements to That Poppy, the whole thing with the imagery and theories around it just caught our group's attention

I'd been aware of MK ULTRA and Monarch and the like for a while as well, just couldn't recall it ever being specifically brought up in relation to Poppy

really love what they're doing with the whole thing overall, although there have been some accusations that Titanic Sinclair stole Poppy's look and image from a former partner of his that he ditched so that's a bit sketch

ArsMoriendi
July 21st 2016


22051 Comments


Isn't That Poppy a satire on the music industry and current state of pop? I think in that respect it's really well done.

Haven't heard the EP though and I don't really want to since it's bad on purpose for the sake of satire.

Digging: Baths - Romaplasm

LotusFlower
July 21st 2016


12002 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"Isn't That Poppy a satire on the music industry and current state of pop? I think in that respect it's really well done. "



Some people consider that too, but theres a lot in the writing/videos that suggest otherwise. However, a song like Money is easily parody-bait with its generic-af lyrics. Titanic Sinclair in general is really critical about mainstream music scenes so its not out of the question his "satire" bleeds into this.



I'd say give Lowlife and Altar a look at, though, theyre both real jams regardless of satire or not. Also thanks for the pos buddy, glad you liked the review at least.

SandwichBubble
July 21st 2016


4837 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

The 'it's a parody, it's allowed to suck' argument just doesn't hold ground for me anymore. It's just not true.



Also, good review. Pos.

Digging: Madonnatron - Madonnatron

LotusFlower
July 21st 2016


12002 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

i didnt think it sucked... except the last song thatone sucked.

ArsMoriendi
July 21st 2016


22051 Comments


Have you watched any of That Poppy's Youtube videos on her own channel? The videos are all written by Titanic Sinclair I believe. She's obviously parodying pop stars who try way too hard to be quirky, while coming off as a government sponsored robot (she even glitches out in some of the videos and advertises products like Tide detergent.)

The official Tide channel on YouTube liked the video for that too, which is hilarious.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0qG4mS3G0K0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HkETw3MtQVk

LotusFlower
July 21st 2016


12002 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Its an interesting character for sure since theres a lot of different ways to interpret the character and they're probably all correct. Even on her website she has a picture which is a crude drawing of her holding a tide bottle in front of her face, its pretty funny.

SandwichBubble
July 21st 2016


4837 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

They're trying to do that 'weird-on-purpose' thing so people will react to it, causing more traffic/buzz, and ultimately leading to more people discovering her music. Decent marketing gimmick.



And @CL0VER, I was destined not to like this. Don't feel too bad. Just not my thing.

LotusFlower
July 21st 2016


12002 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I think the 'weird-on-purpose' thing works here, just because of the scope its marketed at (Signed to Island Records and her debut single premiered on a Thats What I Call Music comp?) and the videos are fun/weird to binge. Its chill if this isnt your thing though.

p4p
July 21st 2016


1959 Comments


u r the highlight of my lowlyfe~

that song sucks

LotusFlower
July 21st 2016


12002 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

:[

ArsMoriendi
July 21st 2016


22051 Comments


I'm just not convinced that's it's Titanic and Poppy's plan to make legitimately listenable music.

I still feel like they're trying to get a hit song, just so they can say: "we literally made a shit song on purpose, just to show that it's easier to market shitty music than good music." And of course them getting money for the shit song is also a motivator.

It seems like some artsy protest project that's trying to prove a point more than anything else (I mean think of 1960s pop art.)



LotusFlower
July 21st 2016


12002 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I'd agree, but considering Island Records is backing and funding this project to such an extreme level I don't think they'd be for a project trying to prove "we can SHIT OUT a hit song" when the majority of their label are pop centric bands and artists. I think Titanic is just wanting to make a cool story while getting to take a stab at the gosh darn millennials while he's at it. But since your insistent on them actively trying to make awful music, I'm going to go ahead and say you just don't like this EP at all.

ArsMoriendi
July 21st 2016


22051 Comments


You're right... Avicii, Demi Lovato, Nick Jonas, and Shawn Mendes are all on Island. There's no way Island would want to make artists like that look bad.

Maybe I just I had my hopes high. The music industry could use an artsy protest project like I described though... or some popular protest artist. Whatever happened to the protest artists of the 1960s?

Like I don't mind modern pop music as a whole (there's some respectable artists charting,) but so much of it just seems vapid and overly simplistic to a point where it's like they're talking down to their listeners.

SandwichBubble
July 21st 2016


4837 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

"...it's like they're talking down to their listeners."



hate to be 'that guy,' but they are.



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