The Teaches Of Peaches
By: Eric Greenwood
I could maybe see how this would have been slightly offensive twenty years ago when sex was still cause for alarm in pop music, but having been through Lydia Lunch and Wendy O. Williams on the underground side and Madonna and even Courtney Love on the commercial side, Peaches is hardly visually arresting or verbally shocking in the least. She's trying hard, though. Peaches wants to disturb you with her vulgarity and bluntness and androgyny, but she flaunts her sexual appetite – if you can even call it that – in the most hackneyed ways possible.
This is pure novelty. It'd be one thing if her shocktart lyrics were ensconced in music that were even remotely challenging, but her sound is the basest form of electronic pap imaginable. It's all part of the carefully calculated show, though. Peaches knows that, wink wink, her music sounds like a second rate rap act from 1987. The beats are simple, thudding, and monotonous. Her casual numbness to sex is supposed to be scandalous or maybe even erotic in some twisted way, but it comes across as forced and sad. But she's set herself up with a golden parachute so that if you don't like it, you're obviously not getting the joke.
With celebrity friends telling you to "be very scared" and opening slots on tour with …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead and Queens Of The Stone Age, Peaches has surrounded herself with people who know people who can get the word out for her. Her reputation for being an omnisexual freaktard precedes her. The word of mouth she's established is quite impressive, but without having known powerful people, there's absolutely zero chance that Peaches would have gotten much further than a cassette demo and a bad karaoke gig. It's the wave of hipsters giving Peaches credibility that blows my mind.
Her mantra, "Fuck The Pain Away", causes me barely an elongated blink. Call me jaded, but it's just not anything I haven't heard or seen before (and in far more disturbing incarnations- even on MTV, for God's sake). Honestly, Christina Aguilera frightens me much more than Peaches possibly could. And Peaches isn't even amusing in a shit-eating grin sort of way. Watching Peaches perform live didn't help shape my impression either. It was like a bad drag show with prerecorded music and a white Canadian female rapper trying to frighten me with her willingness to talk about her "titties" like they were soggy, waterlogged tennis balls.
Even if you do subscribe to The Teaches Of Peaches in theory, you wouldn't really listen to this album for pleasure, would you? It's a one-trick pony if there ever were one. Peaches' "flow" isn't exactly going to bowl you over with its smoothness, and her rhymes are not comprised of the stuff that will instill fear in the likes of Missy Elliott. So what's the appeal? Sure, there's a kitsch factor, and her fearlessness exhibits a respectful amount of bravado, I suppose. But none of that changes the fact that the music is insipid and boring, "sexually explicit lyrics" and all. Ignore the bandwagon-esque, hipster word of mouth- Peaches blows.