Peepshow was widely acclaimed by critics. Praise centred around the unpredictability of the orchestrations and new nuances in Siouxsie's voice. This album was reissued in a remastered version with bonus tracks in October 2014.
Peepshow received widespread critical acclaim upon its release. Q wrote in its 5-star review: "Peepshow takes place in some distorted fairground of the mind where weird and wonderful shapes loom." Reviewer Mark Cooper hailed "Martin McCarrick's accordion that pokes its way into Peek A Boo [...] a carny piece of musical imagination". He noted that "the rest of the record bursts with similar acts of imagination", saying: "full honours go to the aforementioned McCarrick for all manner of shrewd decorations and drummer Budgie for endlessly inventive rhythm work that manages to pinpoint the tension inherent in each song without ever lapsing into an obvious beat".Melody Maker highly praised its first single, "Peek-a-Boo", and called it "quite the most astounding British record" of 1988, and "a brightly unexpected mixture of black steel and pop disturbance." The paper also praised the band for the ballad "The Last Beat of My Heart". Chris Roberts said: "The infinite pinnacle is their one joint effort, the bravura hymn "The Last Beat of My Heart". As Martin McCarrick's accordion and Budgie's directly intelligent rhythms underlie its pathos, this elegy is translated by Sioux with capital beatitude. It's the Banshees' most courageous arabesque in some time."Record Mirror also particularly enjoyed that song when reviewing the album: "The highlight is the restrained 'The Last Beat of My Heart', where Siouxsie's voice explores new ground as she caresses a haunting melody." Reviewer Kevin Murphy concluded by saying: "Brimming with confidence [...], Peepshow is the Banshees' finest hour."NME noted a change of approach in the musical direction: "Peepshow is the best Banshees record since A Kiss in the Dreamhouse because it's the Banshees deciding to be a pop band rather than a rock group".
Siouxsie and the Banshees with Martin McCarrick and Jon Klein in 1988, left to right: Martin McCarrick, Jon Klein, Budgie, Steven Severin and Siouxsie
Spin published a glowing review of the album in their November issue. Discussing "Peek-a-Boo", critic Tony Fletcher said that it's "mood fell in perfectly with their beloved London's summer fascination with the sparsity and confusion that call Acid House, Psychedelic and how!" He described the music of "Peek-a-Boo" as "a crazed assortment of fairground accordions, abrupt horns, distant to-and-fro vocals-exotic, erotic, a dancefloor winner for sure and all of three minutes short." Fletcher also hailed the other tracks, noting "an almost lilting reggae feel to the beginning of "Killing Jar", a fragile, waif-like Siouxsie backed only by translucent guitar and a keyboard bass on the brief "Rawhead and Bloodybones", and a delightful, majestic ballad the likes of which it had been a safe assumption was beyond their reach on "The Last Beat of My Heart". [...] As Peepshow ends with the drawn-out "Rhapsody", Siouxsie's operatic flings seem to be a celebration of her reawakened capacity to thrill." Fletcher concluded: "She and the band sound as confident, abandoned and excited as when they started".
Bloc Party later praised "Peek-a-Boo", which their singer Kele Okereke described: "It sounded like nothing else on this planet. This is just a pop song that they put out in the middle of their career that nobody knows about, but to me it sounded like the most current but most futuristic bit of guitar-pop music I've heard."DeVotchKa later covered "The Last Beat of My Heart" at the suggestion of Arcade Fire singer Win Butler.The Decemberists also listed "The Last Beat of My Heart" as one of their favorite Siouxsie and the Banshees songs.
^ abMurphy, Kevin. Peepshow review. Record Mirror. 10 September 1988
^Mathur, Paul. "Born Again Savages". Melody Maker. 9 July 1988.
^Roberts, Chris. "Psalm Enchanted Evenings" [Peepshow review]. Melody Maker. 10 September 1988. "Peepshow is hesitantly hypnotic. It seduces you back. More than ever, the composition credits go to Sioux or Severin individually, this accounting for the suppliant proximity of their airs. Sioux's 'Turn To Stone' and 'Rawhead And Bloodybones' are simply disquieting, 'Burn Up' is flushed with Eros. Severin's 'Rhapsody' allows some stirring melodrama but the infinite pinnacle is their one joint effort, the bravura hymn 'The Last Beat Of My Heart'. As Martin McCarrick's accordion and Budgie's directly intelligent rhythms underlie it's pathos, this elegy is translated by Sioux with capital beatitude. It's the Banshees' most courageous arabesque in some time. If they have enough majesty in their guts to put it out as a single we really will be witnessing a renaissance."
^Shelley, Jim. "Ornament of Gold". NME. 24 September 1988.
^O'Kane, Josh (18 September 2008). "Talking Bloc during Harvest Jazz - Bloc Party frontman Kele Okereke talks life, love, music and Ultimate Fighting.". [Here] New Brunswick. Retrieved 17 March 2012. With the new record, he said he was inspired by a song written years ago by Siouxsie and the Banshees called Peek-a-boo. "I heard it for the first time, and it sounded like nothing else on this planet. This is just a pop song that they put out in the middle of their career that nobody knows about, but to me it sounded like the most current but most futuristic bit of guitar-pop music I've heard. I thought, that'd be cool, to make music that people might not get at the time, but in ten years' time, people would revisit it."
^Frenette, Brad. "DeVotchKa finds joy in the sadness – interview". Nationalpost.com. 7 March 2011. Retrieved 20 January 2014. "We were playing in Montreal, and Arcade Fire stopped by, back in the earlier days. We were doing this covers album and Win [Butler] recommended that we record The Last Beat of My Heart" Archived 1 February 2014 at the Wayback Machine
^Meloy, Colin. Decemberists interview.Pitchfork.com. 15 September 2006. "The Last Beat of My Heart" : "It's one of my favorite Siouxsie and the Banshees songs".