I was really excited for Ppoppy’s new album, based on the singles that the youtube popnumetal musicmaker released last year. And while the songs are much more pop (think 1990s Garbage), there’s still enough experimental twists and rebellion to say she’s much more than a simple pop artist. “Fill the Crown” is a great example–a very mild hook starts it out, and then a throat-singing hard metal riff takes over.

Some of the slower songs like Sick of the Sun don’t work as well–they fail to hold the attention for the full length of the song, but even when she doesn’t quite succeed, I can admire the attempt to be different. Or, more precisely, to update 1990s alt-rock pretensions and conventions into something a 2020s teen can appreciate.

I really, really like this album. At the same time, I can’t argue with people who criticize it as fairly standard and underwhelming. You’ll either like it or you won’t. I do.

I like it a lot.

Other great stuff for this week: Just two, and they’re kinda similar to Poppy.

First, Algiers’ new political protest record, “There Is No Year.” Earnest and hard-hitting, it can occasionally make missteps, but it’s a musically challenging record. It’s adventurous. Where Poppy fights to be genre-breaking, Algiers work hard to push punk beyond the confining limits of the genre without breaking free of it.

Very, very nicely done!

My other pick is the free-to-download, hardcore-adjacent album by Mammock…I love it. Kind of an aggressive genre bender, like Poppy.

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