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Girl Talk: Feed The Animals


Girl Talk

Album: Feed The Animals
Label: Illegal Art

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Gregg Gillis spent Night Ripper, his 2006 album recorded as Girl Talk, scrambling dozens of recent pop and hip-hop hits (along with innumerable older songs) into a stew that shifts without warning from one ridiculous combo to another. This fascinated people, for good reason: Gillis has a real gift for juxtaposition, and his constructs moved even as they shifted from rhythm to rhythm. That's still the case on Feed The Animals, the fourth overall Girl Talk album and the second to garner a large audience. It's more of the same, all right: old plus new, rock/pop plus hip-hop, expected plus unexpected. Gillis' technique is even more technically impressive than before: Animals shows even fewer seams than Night Ripper did, with Gillis road-testing many of his joins at shows before tightening the screws for the final result. (Animals was made available recently as a pay-what-you-like download from IllegalArt.net.)

It's also dizzier than its predecessor. There are moments where Gillis would be better off letting things ride out a little more, especially when he finds a particularly inspired pairing, like Busta Rhymes over Yo La Tengo ("Like This"), Mary J. Blige's "Real Love" over The Guess Who's "These Eyes" ("Set It Off"), or Blackstreet's "No Diggity" over Kanye West's "Flashing Lights" ("Still Here"). Still, Gillis' sense of sonic proportion gives the whole mix a curvaceousness that make even the most unnatural tandems seem perfectly logical. At the very least, it's a lot more enjoyable than most of the clips programs on VH-1.