June 19, 2008

New Girl Talk

So, the new Girl Talk, Feed The Animals, came out this week. Before I review it, I want to make two things clear: 1) I loved loved loved his last album Night Ripper, and anything said about this record must be weighed against the fact that Mr. Gillis brought 40 minutes of sheer greatness into our lives but two years ago, and 2) I wrestled for a while with this post, because I don't like being a negative nelly, and this site is supposed to be a way for us to broadcast what we love, not what we don't.

That said, it's a bit of a disappointment.

The long and short of it is, whereas in Night Ripper he focused on the mash first and the sample second, in Animals, he tends to go for the immediate Pop Song Recognition Factor. For example, he'll put Lollipop over Under The Bridge, even if they don't go particularly well together, simply because he loves the idea of Lil' Wayne over RHCP. There are a lot of other examples (R. Kelly over Bizarre, Inc.! Whoa!!), but I shan't waste your time with them.

In sum, there are a lot of nice moments here (Shut The Club Down has a shockingly good Rod Stewart sample, for one, and Hands In The Air works fine), but unlike his work in Night Ripper, they just don't blend into a cohesive piece. Anyway, Here's hoping GT can learn from this lesson, pull up his britches, and get back on track for the next one. I know he has it in him.

Girl Talk - Hands In The Air [Feed The Animals, 2008]


Anonymous said...

dude you're insane. night ripper was so blunt and unpolished compared to this! i love night ripper, but this is far better. "under the bridge" and "lollipop" follow nearly the exact same rythmic pattern, how could you miss that?

Anonymous said...

on the technical end of things, i think this blog post is really off. the material on this album is much more in key, seems a bit more thought out than night ripper.

Anonymous said...

R. Kelly is in key with Rhythm Inc. it sounds perfect. is Rhythm Inc that recognizable compared to anything else on night ripper? not at all.


Don't listen to anonymous, you're 100% on point with this post. And the R. Kelly is NOT in the same key as Bizarre Inc, it sounds terrible. For a good, harmonic mashup of I'm a Flirt, listen to the Hood Internet: http://videopopmusic.blogspot.com/2008/05/mash-pop.html

As for the rest of the album, I really got the feeling he was just going through the motions. I give him big props for incorporating more oldies, but a lot of the samples just sound kind of stale. You can only hear early 90s jock jam samples over recent hits so many times before the effect wears thin. The editing is also very hands off and boring. The most chopped and edited parts are the best, and they are few and far between.

Gillis is the man, but it seems pretty clear that he made this album as a businessman, not as an artist. Why shoot yourself in the foot by making an experimental computer music album (i.e. going back to your roots) when you are consistently selling out every venue you play because now the bros and hos are into your music?

Honestly, even though I don't like this album that much, I'm glad he made it. He owed it to himself to keep the momentum of his popularity going. It would be a terrible idea not to. (After all, Girl Talk and Justice comprise the entirety of the American mainstream's exposure to "indie" electronic music. That's a huge achievement for a nation that knows essentially nothing about the genre.) But he owes it just as much to himself to make the next album a lot more innovative.

Justin said...

Personally, I have a hard time listening to Girl Talk. Sample based is great only when you feel that what's being created is entirely a new piece of music (see Steinski and DJ Shadow).

I have to say that when listening to Girl Talk, I don't feel that. The samples are too obvious for one, and two, too recent. My biggest worry is that his music becomes stale in a year or so.