Feed The Animals
Girl Talk - Feed The Animals
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Girl Talk
Feed The Animals

I'm sure there's a huge cultural essay just waiting to be written (or perhaps someone has already tackled it and I haven't read it) on how the indie rock kids absolutely go ape shit for the music of Girl Talk, but for the most part shy away from hip hop and rap music in general by itself. Perhaps it's because Greg Gillis simply recontextualizes the music itself by slamming it up alongside so many other styles that it simply becomes impossible to place into any sort of genre. One could call it a mash-up, but Gillis goes far beyond just about anyone else I've heard doing this sort of thing, to the point where a mind-boggling amount of song samples (averaging about 10 or more per minute of song) makes the head spin. For reference, a Wikipedia article thoroughly lists everything.

Of course, it could just come down to the fact that Girl Talk makes music that is insanely fun. He essentially takes the most catchy bits from every song that he samples and then throws everything together into a hook-ridden album-length party that flies in the face of reason (and copy-write laws). Feed The Animals came out earlier this year as a pay-your-own-fee download and has only finally recently arrived on CD, but it's the sort of thing that can make a bleak winter day go by a little bit faster.

If you've heard any of his previous work (including the fairly recent Night Ripper, you know the modus operandi for Girl Talk, but Feed The Animals is even on another level in terms of sheer density. Because of this, just about everyone who hears it will have different favorite moments that stick out to them, and that's part of the beauty. To me, it starts out about as strong as can be in "Play Your Part (Pt. 1)" as the stomping beat of Roy Orbison and the grinding organ of The Spencer Davis Group get bumped up against some fast lines from UGK. In another memorable section (for completely different reasons), "Shut The Club Down" finds the lovely strings of Aphex Twin's "Girl/Boy Song" swirling behind Rich Boy's staccato lines from "Throw Some D's."

Of course, both of the aforementioned and every other track on the release jump from mini-section to mini-section about every 15-30 seconds, sometimes moving smoothly and building a solid moment and at other times flipping quickly and leaving you wondering what happened. "Hands In The Air" mixes Big Country and Tag Team to great effect before Afrika Bambaataa and Kraftwerk sound like the most natural mix ever. "Here's The Thing" finds "Since U Been Gone" by Kelly Clarkson playing out over both Nine Inch Nails' "Wish" and MC Hammer's "Too Legit To Quit" while sounding almost completely natural in doing so. And really, if you don't like those moments, you can find your own favorites during the literally hundreds of other playful, serious, and sometimes stunning combinations. Ultimately, it's a release that might prove a bit too scatter-brained for some listeners, but others will find its smash-and-grab tendencies to perfectly fit in with the somewhat OCD lifestyles the internet age has only fostered.

rating: 8.2510
Aaron Coleman 2008-12-25 20:09:44