Based on Soseki Natsume's 1908 novel of the same title, Poppy is an ornately complicated story of desire and ambition. Fujio is beautiful, talented, well-heeled, and engaged to Munechika, a rising young diplomat. She has promised him a gold watch, a family heirloom, as an emblem of their engagement. But she falls in love with Ono, a student employed to tutor her in English, who is attracted by her beauty and wealth. Ono is himself bound by an engagement to Sayoko, the daughter of his mentor, Professor Inoue.
Fun Lovin' Criminals are the sound of cigarettes being lit. Ever since England embraced the New York band as its own, the Criminals have tailored their sound like you would a good suit – tweaking the seams of the grooves for continued late-night appeal. Sly frontman Huey's bedroom voice slithers with a threatening tone; you can't trust this handsome criminal, but damn does he throw great parties. Similarly, most of Welcome to Poppy's is like watching a 1968 Lincoln Continental drive by in slow motion – nice and easy, and ultra cool. If this is all starting to sound like the treatment for Guy Ritchie's next East End crime caper, then the Criminals have likely done their job. "Stray Bullet" sells the same street-level politics as Moby's "South Side," but sexes it up with the disco thump of Stereo MC's' "Connected." "Lost it All" stylizes East Coast hardcore by marrying its gritty guitar aggression to more calculated whispering from Huey – that this is successful at all proves the instrumental chops that stabilize FLC's affected veneer.