Pulsating with gelatinous gobs of electro-dance goodness, I Feel Cream unveils a 40-year-old Peaches still fully in command of some of the filthiest and naughtiest music of our time.
When we last saw Toronto-born Merrill Beth Nisker, she was grinding it out on Impeach My Bush. The record, released in 2006, featured songs like “Fuck or Kill,” “Slippery Dick,” and “Boys Wanna Be Her.”
Happily, I Feel Cream picks up right where Peaches left off and top-loads all of the merry crudeness we’re used to. She’s still toying with gender expectations, still acerbically wrestling with conservative attitudes pertaining to sex, and still dripping with heaving, soapy raunch over encrusted electro-beats and vicious keys.
Whether she’s murmuring quietly or beating her chest like a sexual beast, Peaches knows the score and marks her province with cheeky meticulousness. Her tones and inflections may intimidate some as she coos and snakes her way around the slinky music with a mixture of forceful raps, glowing singing, and soft whispers.
With production by Soulwax, Digitalism, Simian Mobile Disco, Drums of Death, and Peaches herself, it’s safe to say that the dance floor aspect of I Feel Cream is in pretty damn good hands. Production is taut, beats are pulled and pushed appropriately, and tunes swing with thundering bass and restless keys.
Soulwax handles the rocking good time that is “Show Stopper,” a cocked, locked, and loaded number with winding synth and Peaches’ shout-and-talk vocals. The huge drums and misshapen lines help mince the song into disco heaven.
As though she’s talking to the predominantly youthful audience she possesses, Peaches cuts loose on “Mommy Complex.” It’s a down-and-dirty indulgence. “No one’s as old school as me,” she says through distortion before letting off a half-drunk “woo!”
I Feel Cream puts Peaches in an interesting spot, as many might be wondering whether the raw grime of her previous works would be wearing thin by her forties. Fortunately she’s more than able to remain relevant and, better still, is well on her way to solidifying her name as a dance floor force to be reckoned with.
The title track provides more substantiation, coursing with sprinkled synth reminiscent of The Chemical Brothers and some deliciously lush vocals. And “Billionaire,” featuring Shunda K of Yo Majesty, rubs one out with some of the dirtiest and juiciest lyrics of the year.
Certainly not designed for radio, I Feel Cream ought to find a very good home in vivacious dance clubs around the world. Peaches is a significant example of a fearless, hard-nosed creative force in full command of her environs. Doing battle with sex roles and setting her own trends, she remains a marvellous illustration of the unwavering and truly filthy power of art.