Release Date: May 5, 2009
Record label: Beggars XL
Genre(s): Rock, Electronic
Peaches teams up with a few producers for her fifth album, including electro-house heavyweights Soulwax, Simian Mobile Disco and Digitalism. As you might guess from that list, the punk rock side of her persona has been tempered somewhat, but have no fear - she's as dirty, fierce and raw as before, at least on a lyrical level. [rssbreak] We're going to assume the title is a reference to Donna Summer's dance-floor monster I Feel Love, since Peaches is clearly exploring her disco queen side.
There are also plenty of moments that aren't groundbreaking, but still show that Merill Nisker has a lot to say about sex, music, and pop culture nearly a decade after Teaches of Peaches was released. "Billionaire" is classic, tough-talking Peaches, with hard-hitting production, a cameo by Yo Majesty's Shunda K. , and a chorus that boils the song down to its talking points ("Billionaire/love affair/take you there).
Peaches escapes any attempt to be pinned down with a one-two of wrenching electroclash style and straightforwardly sexual content in I Feel Cream, her fourth LP, which features guest production from Simian Mobile Disco and a posse of other electronic masters. The first track, “Serpentine,” bids this dare: “Some call me trash, some call me nasty/ Call me crass but you can’t match me. ” Peaches will avoid not only a negative slut definition on this album, but every definition.
Peaches is the sort of artist who is so defined by the fully formed, distinct aesthetic of her debut album that her subsequent releases cannot help but seem like sequels in a film series. As such, her last two records were clear cases of diminishing returns-- Fatherfucker seemed lazy and rushed; Impeach My Bush was better, but inconsistent in its inspiration. Both albums expanded upon the gleefully pervy, button-pushing persona established on The Teaches of Peaches, but broke little ground in their own right, and mostly presented a more extreme and gratingly puerile variation on her brand of sexually confrontational performance art.
Peaches has built her musical career around doing one thing and doing it well. She constantly attempts to up the ante of shock value with every album, eliciting a “Did she really just say that?” or two. But since she so rarely deviates from her trademark form, the queen of electroclash shock treatment rarely shocks those who expect the expected.
Every once in a while, Peaches fandom is forced to remind itself that behind the flashy guise of their sex goddess is a middle-aged, Canadian-born former elementary school teacher named Merrill Nisker. Such is the power of musical reinvention, where a seemingly mild-mannered educator can become the swaggering, swearing she-wolf of electroclash lore. For Peaches, sex is both the palette and the joke; a canvas to front all of her hatred, ego-fluffing, mania, and posturing, yet also a pin cushion to be skewered mercilessly.
The title of Merrill Nisker's fourth album suggests that, at 40, she still enjoys provoking a response. Ideology aside, this is a diverse album that retains her trademark dirty electro but on collaborations with Simian Mobile Disco still delights. Lose You metaphorically rubs up against St Etienne and Mud is a superlative low-slung groove. .
Once upon a time, Peaches was all about the nonstop Live-SeXXX show. In its shambolic way, her live-act was a Butthole Surfers for the electro generation – no wonder, then, her debut was a pretty thin affair: slogans and beats, and darkly muttered innuendoes that needed the visuals, the sweat, the sleaze. We all remember the Fatherf&%£er beard, but does anyone remember a song since ‘F&%£ the pain away’? Yes, all the original elements are in place – the muffled thump of the kickdrum, the sinister pulse of fuzz-bass on the groovebox, the sporadic clatters of live drums (or clean samples) – nonetheless, by alternating disco-diva vocals with the snide tone of a table-dancer, Peaches has come the closest yet to delivering the song-based pop album she should have made years back.
Peaches Vulgarity has always had a place in popular music, but usually not as special a place as it does for Peaches. “I Feel Cream” (XL), this electroclash heroine’s new album, features the usual cornucopia of carnal boasts and hard-strobing beats, flagrantly deployed. “Never go to bed ….