Poppy
Poppy.Computer


2.5
average

Review

by VaxXi USER (35 Reviews)
October 8th, 2017 | 102 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An uncompelling debut from a paper thin character

The initial draw to That Poppy, and the music attached to her persona, was the intriguing nature of the channel surrounding the pop star that “everybody loves”. Poppy’s repetitive style of droning off-kilter phrases above unsettling ambient compositions quickly garnered her a dedicated cult following. Which is completely appropriate, seeing as Poppy herself spouts marketing friendly ramblings akin to that of a cult leader with devout followers in the palm of her hand. All of which is a satirical take on the idea of a pop musician brainwashed by the conspired Illuminati Satanic Reptilian Hollywood Hierarchy, or what have you. Thanks in part to her channel’s success, along with a back catalogue displaying her ability to craft a pop song that has a little “something more” with her concept in mind, That Poppy quickly found herself in the limelight fairly early in her career.

But that was two years ago. The That Poppy project has mostly stuck to the same formula since then, and it’s gotten stale. Poppy still stares into a camera with a dead eye expression, something odd happens, and then she vanishes until the next day to repeat it all again. The channel has undoubtedly spread itself thin by pushing the limits of how engaging the same style of video is day in and day out, and unfortunately, Poppy.Computer is inadvertently affected by how limited the Poppy mythos is. Unlike The project’s debut EP, Bubblebath, this record aligns itself with the characteristics of Poppy, the brainwashed YouTuber, as opposed to Poppy the musician who is similarly brainwashed. And when you scrub away the “popstar who lives online” concept from the record, it becomes clear how uninteresting of a debut Poppy.Computer really is.

Without a doubt, the most intriguing tracks of the record are those most engrossed in exploring the character of Poppy. The mechanical, archaic computer beats of album opener “I’m Poppy”, along with her paradoxical ‘super cheery/barely interested’ vocal style draws likeness to a PC Music project. That is, if the “PC” in PC Music was 100% literal and said PC was running a copy of Windows 2000. “My Style” works by similar logic, running off a laundry list of things Poppy considers trendy, and that’s why you should consider them trendy too. The track also features a character from the YouTube channel, Charlotte, delivering unexpected lines such as “Poppy will break your neck” through her text-to-speech voice. And for tracks such as these, that semi-archaic, computerized instrumentated style works. The quirky synthpop stylings are fitting of Charlotte's cold, robotic demeanor and it benefits Poppy’s controlling tone. As a whole, however, Poppy.Computer never really finds equal ground between the aesthetics built around a character such as Poppy and the necessities needed for a well written pop record.

While it’s undeniably consistent in style, the tracks less interested with Poppy’s character here struggle to bring quirky lyrics and catchy production to the table; things which came naturally in the aforementioned tracks. Despite her limits, Poppy is an interesting character to experience, and that’s why they work. And when the best tracks of the album are the most character dependent and context heavy to enjoy, then something has clearly gone wrong. “Moshi Moshi” and “Computer Boy” are instantly approachable of the short stack. “Moshi Moshi” rides along a bouncy synth line and cutesy lyrical content that is equally dreamy and adorable. While “Computer Boy” busy, blaring synths in its chorus and Poppy’s slightly dirty computer/person analogies demand a sing-along. Songs such as “Let’s Make A Video” and “Bleach Blonde baby”, however, falter with too little to offer outside of a potentially catchy hook or two.

It’s in songs such as these where the album loses its ability to maintain interest either by being too bubbly or not dynamic enough instrumentally, though “Interweb” may be the most guilty of this. It’s the one and only track of the album which deviates from the “archaic computer pop” sound, opting out for a dark and menacing atmosphere akin to a Grimes tracks. However, it gives too little to digest aside from a singular bass sample and kick beat that carries the brunt of the track’s meat. Given that it is also the longest song on the record, even throwing in a guitar riff or a few quick paced drum fills between Poppy’s pauses throughout the chorus would have saved it from sounding homogenous. At half an hour, Poppy.Computer feels as though it has too much on its plate with songs that leave no lasting impression. It would’ve worked better as an EP, even if at this point it’s too little too late to maintain interest for Poppy as a character and Poppy as a music sensation. Since from the sounds of it, barely either work together.



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user ratings (118)
2.8
good


Comments:Add a Comment 
VaxXi
October 8th 2017


4418 Comments


Best: I’m Poppy, Moshi Moshi, Computer Boy, My Style, Software Upgrade
Worst: Let’s Make A Video, Bleach Blonde Baby, Interweb, Pop Music
Stream: http://open.spotify.com/album/2X8hslZKWgIy753r4fFOxr

Massive thanks to Crypt/Ramon for making this review a lot more readable. Add this one to the "disappointment" pile.


superluminals
October 8th 2017


948 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

This was disappointing some tracks were really good then others dropped in quality

DoofusWainwright
October 8th 2017


19991 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0 | Sound Off

‘I’m Poppy’ is one of the best? Yikes.

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
October 8th 2017


19407 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

loooooooooooooooooool

superluminals
October 8th 2017


948 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

im poppy is indeed one of the best here

Tyler.
October 8th 2017


18320 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I enjoyed this more but good review

Ryus
October 8th 2017


22915 Comments


never heard of her until now but i'm intrigued by her persona

Digging: Danny L Harle - Harlecore

VaxXi
October 8th 2017


4418 Comments


If you're interested about learning more about Poppy I highly recommend checking out Night Mind's analysis video on the channel: http://youtube.com/watch?v=NmXQKMjEC8E

You can also just go to the channel itself. It only takes a video or two to get the gist of the channel.

DoofusWainwright
October 8th 2017


19991 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0 | Sound Off

Cheesy vid

Frivolous
October 8th 2017


879 Comments


I enjoyed this more but good review [2]

this album was a p fun time

VaxXi
October 8th 2017


4418 Comments


Doof leave this thread

FullOfSounds
October 8th 2017


15775 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

good review, album just isn't interesting at all

LethalPaintball
October 9th 2017


1004 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0 | Sound Off

can't imagine anyone over the age of 12 would listen to this shit

Rigma
October 9th 2017


864 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

"when you glow on my face you make me come alive

i want your floppy disk to be my hard drive"

gryndstone
October 9th 2017


1844 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

where is my microphone

gryndstone
October 9th 2017


1844 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

i think i like it

DoofusWainwright
October 9th 2017


19991 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0 | Sound Off

She's an art installation! She's a comment on our culture! She's programmed like a robot! Illuminati easter egg!



Bingo. What do I win?



The laziest set of ideas of 2017, what is at all impressive about this? Other than some people are finding it impressive?



luci
October 9th 2017


12534 Comments


her persona makes this even more inane than it would be otherwise. in the bin

DoofusWainwright
October 9th 2017


19991 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0 | Sound Off

My favourite part of the vid:



'Even her name is a giant clue - Poppy - Pop E - pop music, pop idol - she's pure pop culture parody, she's pop'y'



You. don't. fucking. say.

DoofusWainwright
October 9th 2017


19991 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0 | Sound Off

Clover you don't need to be so prickly, I can see why this appealed as a review choice.



My problem is that for this project to be compelling the music itself had to be 90% more interesting so as to blur the lines in the audience response - because even with your level of intrigue you still couldn't muster much enthusiasm for the music at all. I doubt that deep down you'll be able to dredge up the will power to revisit this in just six months time.



That's why Poppy is doomed, unless she actually gets some generic songs that genuinely feel like some sort of undeniable, uncanny hit. Because right now this is eminently forgettable because it is totally ignorable.



That's why as an art project it is almost as much of a failure as it is as an individual album judged in pure music terms.



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