Peaches: I Feel Cream (XL) 

Sometimes when a musician is included in a film soundtrack, the confluence of scene and song becomes an indelible cultural reference point—like that moment in Lost in Translation when Bill Murray and Scar-Jo are in the Japanese strip club while Peaches' "Fuck the Pain Away" blares. It was a perfect context for Peaches—who is all about confronting and subverting ideas about gender and sexuality—particularly because it was tongue-in-cheek while also being lurid and grotesque.

That kind of hard-core sexuality could easily become a gimmick, and I'm happy to report that Peaches' latest is evidence that she's not one to be outdone by her own shtick. I Feel Cream downgrades the emphasis on genitalia found in the X-rated antics of her previous work to a healthy NC-17. She's still rapping about reach-arounds and man-ginas on "Billionaire," but the album is also peppered with wonderful, hypnotic jams like "Lose You" and "Relax" that are pretty damned sexy sans dirty talk.

Peaches is electronica's Judith Butler, delving into our sexual psyches to reveal gender as a social construct that's performed rather than innate. On "Mommy Complex," she chants, "Hush now baby, don't you stress / I'm gonna fill your mommy complex," while boasting, "No one's as old-school as me!" The track is a real club-thumper, and showcases Peaches doing what she does best: making fun of all our darkest desires while inviting us to shake our asses. Not a bad deal.

More by Sean Bottai


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