Peaches Didn’t Get Political on ‘Impeach My Bush’
Although the title might have suggested otherwise, Peaches didn’t get very political on her fourth album. The Canadian performer born Merrill Nisker mostly stayed true to lyrics that dealt with brazen sexuality and gender role-reversal on Impeach My Bush, released by XL Recordings on July 11, 2006.
But Peaches was able to give some of her favorite themes an anti-war/anti-George W. Bush slant on kick-off track “F--- or Kill,” in which she declared, “I’d rather f--- who I want than kill who I am told to!” It’s not quite “Give me liberty or give me death,” although Peaches found a way to intermingle two of the most controversial issues of the ’00s (gay rights and the war in Iraq) in one sharp lyric. And the thumping beat behind it didn’t hurt either.
Aside from the first song, Impeach My Bush was a refinement of earlier Peaches albums: electro beats spiked with punk rock guitars, shocking rhymes set to mock sexual stereotypes, song titles like “Tent in Your Pants,” “Rock the Shocker” and “Slippery Dick.” Another song, “Two Guys (For Every Girl),” spoofed an old Jan & Dean line on the way to having two straight men finding out they enjoy gay sex.
“But isn’t the fantasy two guys for every girl?,” Peaches told The Guardian in 2006. “People say, ‘I don’t wanna watch two guys,’ and there’s this strange idea that two men aren’t erotic to watch. It’s one of the roles I question.”
Impeach My Bush continued the parade of guest contributors that began on 2003’s Fatherf---er. Joan Jett reteamed with Peaches on this record, which also featured spots from the Gossip’s Beth Ditto, Queens of the Stone Age’s Josh Homme and Peaches’ ex-roommate Feist.
The album became Peaches’ most commercially successful to date and the first to chart on the Billboard album chart (No. 168). Although lead single “Downtown” became a hit at the time (at least in Britain where it reached the Top 50), second single “Boys Wanna Be Her” has become one of Peaches’ better-known tunes over time. The buzzing, glammy anthem was featured in Ugly Betty, The L Word, commercials and the 2009 movie Whip It before becoming the theme song for Full Frontal with Samantha Bee almost a decade after the single was first released.
Despite its Dubya-checking title, Impeach My Bush was ahead of its time. Between its danceable, electro beats and status quo-challenging ideas about gender, the album is more at home in the pop and political landscapes of 2016 than 2006.
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