Album review: Poppy rocks out in “Flux”

From Grammy-nominated metal performer to the first-ever Roblox listening party, Poppy has been busy the past two years. She’s been on my radar as far back as 2011 with her mysterious yet alluring YouTube channel and early pop music career under the name “That Poppy.” Her newest project “Flux” is just another example of her musical diversity, moving back a notch from her previous album “I Disagree” released in January of 2020. “Flux” is a true rock album, holding influences from her previous work, but somewhat clean and precise in its tone.

Although Poppy has had a few wide genre changes, she shows her sheer musical ability with this album. Rock can be an oversaturated genre, one that can lack originality. This is seen only slightly within “Flux.” I won’t say each track feels incredibly original and inspired, but it’s very clear Poppy knows her sound and what she wants to sound like.

This record does have a noticeable current and flow, the production and track placement help push you through the album, a trait I both pay attention to and heavily enjoy. With this said, although each track feels different, I can’t always tell them apart. They all have similar “vibes” and it can be hard to pinpoint the titles or differentiate when listening from top to bottom. 

Tracks I absolutely love include “So Mean,” a Weezer-esque pop-rock track. With an incredibly catchy chorus and very satisfying driving guitar, this track stands out from the other more gray-scaled and formulaic tracks. Another favorite would be “On The Level.” This flowy love track feels organic and well presented, with some tiny shifts into a hardcore universe. 

Poppy comes alive in this freeform and concert friendly album. Compared to her other works, this album feels a lot less processed. In her September interview with Ryan Reed of Spin.com, Poppy talked about how much she loves music: “I love lyrics… I love melodies. I love catchy music. I am a fan of pop music.” This album is solid proof that she holds those words to her heart. This album feels like a songwriter’s album; it feels like a rock album from someone who loves music.

Although I have enjoyed some of Poppy’s other work a little more aggressively, this album is satisfying and lively. A taste of unprocessed flux. I would rate it 3.9 Mikey Heads out of 5.

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