Chicago Sun-Times
Tuning in with Thomas Conner

Peaches, "I Feel Cream" (XL) [3 STARS]

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Since she burst onto the scene nearly a decade ago with "The Teaches of Peaches," Canadian electroclash artist and perverse provocateur Merrill Nisker has achieved an influence far beyond her album sales: She's collaborated with Pink, Iggy Pop and Joan Jett, her praises have been sung by the likes of Madonna and Christina Aguilera and Lady Gaga has pretty much ripped off her entire act, blanding it out in the process. But at age 40, with five albums to her credit, Nisker/Peaches can still shock anyone who tries to pigeonhole her.

"Never a straight line--serpentine," the artist sings on the opening track here, and the twist this time is that she downplays the sexual outrage to focus on her singing and the throbbing minimalist dance grooves crafted with Gonzales and Simian Mobile Disco. This isn't to say that Peaches has cleaned up her dirty mind or her potty mouth: "Never go to bed without a piece of raw meat," she advises at one point. But the real thrills come from hearing her peel back the curtain to analyze and joke about her own image ("Show Stopper," "Serpentine") and to confess her feelings about aging and consider her place in a list of famous "cougars" reaching back to Mae West ("Mommy Complex").

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This page contains a single entry by Jim DeRogatis published on May 5, 2009 3:01 PM.

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