Ultrapop (studio album) by The Armed

Ultrapop by The Armed
Year: 2021
Release date: 2021-04-16
Overall rank: 8,530th   Overall chart historyOverall chart history
Average Rating: 
71/100 (from 48 votes)
  Ratings distributionRatings distribution   Average rating historyAverage rating history
Award Top albums of 2021 (101st)
Award Top albums of the 2020s (281st)
Award Best albums of all time (8,530th)
Product Details

Condition: New

The Armed ‎– Ultrapop - Peach vinyl 1st pressing Tested and color verified
Condition: New

The Armed : Ultrapop - CD - Album - Digipak (2021) New and Sealed
Condition: New

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The Armed bestography

Ultrapop is ranked as the best album by The Armed.

The Armed album bestography « Higher ranked This album (8,530th) Lower ranked (21,584th) »
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Ultrapop track list

  Track ratingsTrack ratings The tracks on this album have an average rating of 72 out of 100 (all tracks have been rated).

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Rating: 71 (9 votes)Comments: 0
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Rating: 74 (10 votes)Comments: 0
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Rating: 71 (9 votes)Comments: 0
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Rating: 72 (9 votes)Comments: 0
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Rating: 70 (9 votes)Comments: 0
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Rating: 69 (9 votes)Comments: 0
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Rating: 74 (9 votes)Comments: 0
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Rating: 77 (10 votes)Comments: 0
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Ultrapop rankings

Ultrapop collection

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Ultrapop ratings

Average Rating: 
71/100 (from 48 votes)
  Ratings distributionRatings distribution Average Rating = (n ÷ (n + m)) × av + (m ÷ (n + m)) × AV
av = trimmed mean average rating an item has currently received.
n = number of ratings an item has currently received.
m = minimum number of ratings required for an item to appear in a 'top-rated' chart (currently 10).
AV = the site mean average rating.

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10/25/2022 08:13 jonny5244  Ratings distributionRatings distribution 8,25463/100
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08/23/2022 01:50 babyBlueSedan  Ratings distributionRatings distribution 3,05364/100
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07/21/2022 01:51 rubysmith  Ratings distributionRatings distribution 74774/100
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06/03/2022 14:55 covecove  Ratings distributionRatings distribution 5,99773/100
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05/17/2022 21:41 Dingerbell  Ratings distributionRatings distribution 2,91462/100

Rating metrics: Outliers can be removed when calculating a mean average to dampen the effects of ratings outside the normal distribution. This figure is provided as the trimmed mean. A high standard deviation can be legitimate, but can sometimes indicate 'gaming' is occurring. Consider a simplified example* of an item receiving ratings of 100, 50, & 0. The mean average rating would be 50. However, ratings of 55, 50 & 45 could also result in the same average. The second average might be more trusted because there is more consensus around a particular rating (a lower deviation).
(*In practice, some albums can have several thousand ratings)

This album has a Bayesian average rating of 71.1/100, a mean average of 69.8/100, and a trimmed mean (excluding outliers) of 70.7/100. The standard deviation for this album is 14.7.

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Ultrapop comments

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From 01/02/2022 22:22
Very into how hard this goes.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | 0 votes (0 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
From 04/17/2021 16:46
(Post Hardcore meets Noise rock meets noise pop at points. Some cool electronic bits, some messy hardcore excellence as well as bits of mathy virtuosity, this album is just a really LOUD, at times thrilling, always interesting mix of genres that mostly work really well. Check it out if you like these styles or if you want to damage your ears as efficiently as possible.)

This is the 3rd (or is it 4th?) official album by this Detroit hardcore punk/post hardcore band The Armed. In prep for this anticipated release of went back and listened to some of their earlier songs and albums. They were loud, wild, mathcorey, knotty bits of post hardcore and quite good. But, based only on the singles from Ultrapop, it felt like they had drastically changed their sound. This interesting and pretty cool evolution made me even more hyped about this album.

All in all Ultrapop lived up to my hype. The main surprise was that the 3 songs I had heard on repeat before hearing the whole thing - “All Futures”, “An Iteration”, and “Average Death” - are probably 3 of the 5 most divergent songs from their post hardcore sound. Most of the other tracks, while having a ridiculously loud mix and some elements added, were essentially “classic The Armed” - meaning a majority of the songs here are gnarly and nasty and discordant walls of hardcore insanity. The strangely pop-oriented, tuneful experimentation is much less present in the songs that were not released early on streaming services. This wasn’t blatant, like, false advertising and I’m not mad, just surprised.

As for the album as a whole, it’s very good, bordering on GREAT. The production is really ridiculous. By ridiculous I mean LOUD like REALLLLY LOUD. It’s almost Sleigh Bells-level of tinnitus-inducing. And actually it works really well for the music. The music being this maximalist melding of incredibly forthright and aggressive post hardcore with noise pop and subtle electronic and pop elements nestled underneath. The walls of unhinged sound that storm out of my headphones when I hear this record are brilliant and mostly invigorating.

The musicianship is pretty solid. It’s not the most mind-bogglingly complex and the chops aren’t on another plane, but they suffice. (Note: I’m not a musician and for all I fucking know a musician may hear this and think these guys are the second coming of the Mahavishnu Orchestra or something. Just my perception as a neophyte.) But, honestly, the fact that at times the band sounds, well, like a hardcore punk band rather than a Mathcore band, is what makes a lot of the unhinged moments work more. It sounds slightly off time at points, the band isn’t always in perfect lockstep, and it makes for a more classic punk experience in amongst all these distinctly alien-to-punk-and-Hardcore elements.

The critiques I have and the reason this album isn’t quite the AOTY candidate that I thought it may be based off first listen and those excellent pre-release singles, are vague and somewhat two-fold. And, again, both critiques are somewhat vague and incredibly personal no doubt.

For one I feel that the album somehow has a mild personality crisis. When it is going ape shit with the noisy, oppressively loud hardcore it is consistently awesome. When the band is doing a weird quasi-MBV kinda thing where there is clearly some gorgeous melodies underneath thick slabs of noise and muck, it sounds absolutely awesome. EDIT: hey this is me. That MBV comparison was sticking in me craw and I think that is because it’s a bit of a stretch and they aren’t too similar stylistically. But at points there is a certain element of hiding rich and sweet melodies under lots of noise that is somewhat similar). And yet I don’t personally feel these two styles are melded or meshed into a beautiful and brilliant complete cohesive whole. The sum of the parts is somehow less than the 2 individual stylistic achievements.

The other thing is that I feel this album doesn’t quite consistently blow me away. This is much less of a clear-cut, in my mind, problem. And honestly both issues may slowly dissolve into time as I revisit this beast. But for now I feel that the initial momentum of the album which is created by a brilliant and visceral run of tracks to start, is dampened quite a bit in the middle before the album ends with a pretty brilliant run of gems again. Again, with almost any album that I love the core sound of, this critique usually abates over time and many listens.

Overall, this is indeed a creative, blistering, intense and loud (loud in ways I haven’t heard in almost any other album this year) record that, for the most part, sticks the landing on integrating some electronic, noise pop, and other disparate sounds into the post-hardcore central sound/style. Really excellent album and recommended.
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