18. Poppy, 'Poppy.Computer'
The Poppy "project" began as a series of high-concept,
low-fuss YouTube clips that focused on a wide-eyed woman who made compulsive
behavior (eating cotton
"I'm Poppy" for ten minutes, interviewing a plant)
absolutely compelling. Her perhaps inevitable evolution into a pop star began
in 2015 and crests with Poppy.Computer,
which adds her airy voice to hyper-stylized, detail-rich gloss-pop. "Bleach
Blonde Baby" skewers male expectations over luscious synths;
"Software Upgrade" views a bad boyfriend as a computer that needs to
be rebooted, icy keyboards zigzagging around Poppy's litany of demands.
"Pop music on the radio is boring, so I don't want to be boring,"
Poppy told Rolling Stone this fall. Poppy.Computer's off-kilter recounting
of microcelebrity, hiccuping vocals and intricate production help her neatly
avoid that fate. M.J.