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A one-theme wonder

July 09, 2006|Eric Ducker


"Impeach My Bush" (XL Recordings)

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In 2000, this Canadian electro-punk singer came to the game strapped with a big mouth and a big libido, and she didn't restrain either. Starting with the debut album, "The Teaches of Peaches," her explicit, confrontational sex raps endeared her to the fashion crowd (they may have also been feeling her pink hot pants), as well as hard rockers such as Queens of the Stone Age, who delight in making the ultra-masculine members of their fan base uncomfortable.

On her third album (due in stores Tuesday), Peaches has upgraded from self-producing on a rudimentary Roland sampler to creating a slightly more elaborate sound in a Los Angeles studio with Beck veterans Mickey Petralia and Greg Kurstin. Now there is some varied texture to her beats, where there once was just turbo thrusts.

But lyrically, she is just finding variations on subjects she has covered many times over. "Downtown" obviously isn't about a bustling city center, and "Rock the Shocker" is about a maneuver known as the Love Gun in some locker rooms. The album's title implies some political perspective, and there is some swapping of gender norms, but ultimately the title phrase means just about as much as "Pat my Benatar" -- a catchy, empty idea. Which raises the question: At what point does what once seemed transgressive just become trashy?

-- Eric Ducker

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