Originally released by the German label Kitty-Yo in 2000, The Teaches of Peaches is a crash course in Peaches' (aka Merrill Nisker) punk-disco burlesque. "Sucking on my titties like you wanna be callin' me all the time like Blondie/Check out my Chrissie be-Hynde it's fine all of the time" she sings on the opening manifesto "Fuck the Pain Away," which crystallizes her sound and approach -- her music is equal parts sex, humor, rock, and dance, with her frank, and often frankly hilarious, lyrics riding atop stark drumbeats, throbbing basslines, and repetitive but undeniably rockin' guitar riffs. Trashy, energetic tracks like "Rock Show" and "Lovertits" -- which is strangely reminiscent of the Stones' disco period, à la "Emotional Rescue" -- put the "rude" back in rudimentary; it's the kind of cleverly stupid music that's made by pretty bright people. Indeed, it's quite possible to read all sort of women's studies theories into Peaches' music; she's unrepentantly, triumphantly sexual and turns the tables by objectifying guys (particularly on "AA XXX," where she sings, "I like the innocent type/Deer in the headlights," and on the funny, kinky "Hot Rod," where she demands "Huh? What? Show me whatcha got/Rub it against my thigh"), but the fact that her sexually explicit music isn't presented as a bravely feminist act is, paradoxically, exactly what's so liberating about it. Things start to falter on The Teaches of Peaches when the tempo slows down and the electronic elements are emphasized, as on "Diddle My Skittle," "Suck and Let Go," and "Felix Partz," which feel a little draggy compared to the album's high-octane first half but do have a hypnotic pull that's worth noting. However, the flirty, disco-inspired "Set It Off" and bitchy breakup song "Cum Undun" express her punk attitude and dance ambitions much more naturally. And even though songs like "Sucker" sound a bit warmed-over, it's fairly remarkable for an artist with such a brash, distinctive style that she doesn't start repeating herself until the very end of the album. Funny, sexy, outrageous, and danceable (not to mention endlessly quotable) all at once, The Teaches of Peaches is a great introduction to a unique artist who defines herself by gleefully blurring boundaries. The 2002 reissue on Beggars/XL includes a bonus disc of covers and remixes that map out Peaches' influences and contemporaries, including her versions of Jeans Team's "Keine Melodien" and Berlin's "Sex (I'm A)," a new version of "Felix Partz" featuring Gonzales, Kid 606's remix of "Fuck the Pain Away," and a mix of "Set It Off" by Tobi Neuman. ~ Heather Phares, Rovi
The Teaches of Peaches (Bonus Disc)
2000 | Xl Recordings
TEACHES OF PEACHES (BONUS CD) (ENH)
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