Goudie Peep Show (Elektra/The Music Company)
Reviewed by Christopher Gray, Fri., Aug. 25, 2000
Peep Show (Elektra/The Music Company)When the Rev. Jesse Jackson told America to "stay out the Bushes" at the Democratic National Convention last week, he could have been speaking directly to Goudie. Admittedly, there's not much danger of the local glam-rockers hitting the stump for our gaffe-prone governor, but the foursome's major-label debut Peep Show does run the risk of succumbing to the same shiny studio seduction that made that other Bush the Nineties' No. 1 critical whipping boys. It's a very Butch Vig sort of LP, loaded with torrential guitars, elephantine bass lines, and those Dave Grohl drum fills that made Nevermind multiplatinum. Which is not to say that a glittery pop sheen is a bad thing -- you can have my Garbage albums when you pry them out of my cold, dead fingers -- it's just that it works best when there's something beneath the surface. That's not always the case on Peep Show. While much of it rocks, especially "Valentine," "Buy Me," and "Drag City," in other cases ("Julia," "Shy"), it seems like the overriding concern was to squeeze the most out of this or that effect in lieu of writing an actual song. Then there's the serpentine "When Will You Be Mine?" which folds back and forth over itself for more than six minutes without growing stale, and "Baby Hello," a mushroom cloud of modern-rock pixie dust that only the most severe purist could avoid turning up on the radio. Unfortunately, radio-readiness is not quite enough to make an album a complete success. Just ask Gavin Rossdale.