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I Feel Cream Julian Marszalek , May 14th, 2009 07:26

The oft-levelled criticism of electronic and dance music is that it remains a cold and emotionless experience. While this certainly holds true for some of the latest crop of disco dollies — the vacuous and shallow posturing of the execrable Lady GaGa springs immediately to mind — I Feel Cream, the fourth album from Canadian electro-hedonist Peaches, proves that there's more to her than the techno pleasure-seeking that made her name.

Though still indulging in sinful gratification — the album title is a dead giveaway, after all — Peaches has, somewhere along the line, given way to a form of emotional vulnerability. While such a concept may have seemed laughable from the woman who brought us 'Fuck The Pain Away' and gave an album the tittersome title Impeach My Bush, right now it's both serious and utterly convincing. Moreover, with the likes of Simian Mobile Disco, Soulwax and Digitalism on board, the beats are bigger, and with deeper grooves to match.

'Talk To Me' is the first indication of where her head's at. Tweaked to perfection by Soulwax, the track is a colossal slab of electro that rocks in an unashamed fashion, Peaches laying bare her soul as a relationship slowly breaks down. Utterly startling, this is the kind of music that finds Peaches returning to her core musical values, after the rock'n'roll guitars that characterised this album's predecessor. If there were any justice in this world, this would dominate the airwaves.

'Lose You' is the more delicate flipside, and it's not difficult to imagine it being delivered by Kylie Minogue. This surrender to deliciously delicate arpeggios and beats reveals a hitherto unimagined side of Peaches.

But let's not get too carried away. As the juddering 'Billionaire' — featuring Yo Majesty's Shunda K Gone — makes clear, Peaches still loves to revel in the filth (the hilarious utterance "big trouble in little mangina" is proof). As she so wonderfully has it on 'Trick Or Treat': "Never go to bed without a piece of raw meat." Elsewere, the throbbing synths of 'More' are fabulously lascivious — there's a palpable whiff of poppers floating on by — and the title track offers another of the album's wonderful hands-in-the-air moments.

I Feel Cream is the sound of considered hedonism packed into 41 minutes. Joyous, unencumbered and — yes — mature, this is a glorious, fabulous album that merits your time and attention.