"The best word I can think of to describe this album is: autumnal. I'm not even sure that makes sense. Let me put it this way: this is an album that should be listened to on a autumn night, preferably around Halloween, when there is a slight chill in the air. Songs like 'Scarecrow', 'Burn-Up' and 'Rawhead and Bloodybones' are very appropriate for Halloween, and 'Carousel' has a very "Something Wicked This Way Comes" feel to it.'Burn-Up', with it's out-of-control-locomotive beat, is an excellent song to listen to while driving on the freeway.The only drawback to this album is that "Peek-A-Boo", while a good song, doesn't sound like it belongs on this album after you listen to the other songs. The other songs seem to mesh together (at least for me) with a pseudo-19th Century/Victorian Era feel. "Peek-A-Boo"'s sound is too modern to really fit.Bottom line: Although I don't think "Peek-A-Boo"'s sound really fits in with the rest of the album, this is in every other way a truly great album to own."
Sinister, Creepy, Beautiful -- A Luxurious Aural Delight!
Rich Latta | Albuquerque, NM - Land of Entitlement | 08/13/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"PEEPSHOW was their most polished release to date, but it's a very artistic record and far from a calculated bid for mainstream acceptance, even though it greatly benefited from the stellar "Peek*A*Boo" single. It's not my personal favorite Siouxsie record, but it's still an excellent set of songs.
My personal impressions of PEEPSHOW:
"Peek*A*Boo" - a hip-hop inflected, totally infectious track about "peepshow" booths. Simultaneously playful and dark. Big, schitzophrenic dance sound with booming bass crossed with classic Siouxsie creepiness. I think it's one of their all-time best tracks and they never did anything else quite like it (note: this is coming from an "old-school" Siouxsie freak who typically favors JU JU and KALEIDESCOPE the most). Some fans complain that this album and this song in particular signaled "sell-out" for Siouxsie, but I never gave a rat's ass about that kind of thinking. For years, they have inched their way towards the mainstream, anyway. Their cover of the Beatles' "Dear Prudence" from HYAENA a few years earlier was radio-friendly and great enough to rocket them to the top of the charts but it didn't. The following album TINDERBOX yielded "Cities in Dust" which did become an underground club hit. "Peek*A*Boo" became an even bigger dance-floor smash (in certain locales at least), and I thought that was great; they certainly did and do deserve a lot more recognition than they ever got. *****
"The Killing Jar" - This song is apparently about someone using magic to kill. It has sort of a topsy-turvy feel to it. Bassist Steve Severin is prominent and he wrote it as well (He and Sioux each do about half the songwriting). It's a good tune, but it suffers a bit for coming after "Peek*A*Boo," admittedly a hard one to follow. Regardless, I give it ---> ****
"Scarecrow" - This is a genuinely creepy one with a sinister-sounding guitar. Starts off quiet until the charging chorus kicks in. *****
"Carousel" - This song and "Burn Up" in time went from being my least favorite on the album to being my favorites. "Carousel" is a swirling, mysterious trip down memory lane, "remembering those funhouse thrills." Beautiful and haunting. *****
"Burn Up" - sounding like a song from "Oklahoma!" that came out of an evil, twisted alternate reality, this is a joyous, country-fried celebration of a pyromaniac. The whole song slowly builds in tempo like a runaway fire until it reaches a head-spinning climax. Really wild! *****
"Ornaments of Gold" - a luscious (if intentionally cynical) celebration of material riches to "protect our hearts from this cruel world." Very modern production with what sounds like a drum machine, although I wouldn't be surprized if super-talented drummer Budgie did the drumming himself. ***1/2
"Turn to Stone" - another great S&B tune, I love the melody and the Spanish guitar touches. Has a great atmosphere and lots of tasty studio effects. ****
"Rawhead and Bloodybones" - strange, spare and tiny sounding, this one's freaky. ****1/2
"The Last Beat of My Heart" - grand, gorgeous and full of wonderment. To me, this song captures the feeling of the moment you realize you've fallen in love and want to be with this person til your dying day. Credited to both Severin and Sioux, this has got to be one of their most beautiful songs. *****
"Rhapsody" - Like "Burn Up," the final track on PEEPSHOW brilliantly builds to a climax throughout its entire duration. A powerful, intense album closer. ****1/2
The Banshees' Best
Rich Latta | 04/22/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In my humble opinion, Peepshow is the most fully realized, both musically and thematically, of the Banshees' many albums and therefore unmatched. Siouxsie's voice is at it's best, sensuous at times, sometimes even loving, and yet aggressive when necessary. Musicianship is at a real highpoint with all the players working seamlessly together. The production is tight throughout and all of the songs are fresh and inspired. Many (most?) "goth" fans will pick Juju as the Banshees' best album, but let's face it, "goth" is really more about attitude than musical quality. With Peepshow, Siouxsie and Company [maddened] old fans, confounded the pundits and released a brilliant work full of energy, playfulness and fantasy."
Unparalleled quality, one of the most "mainstream" albums.
Rich Latta | 08/17/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Peepshow" was my first Siouxsie album. I bought it never having heard the band before. After I listened to it, I decided that I must have every album. This album is masterful, and remains one of my favorite albums of all-time by anyone."