Mashup review: Girl Talk’s “Feed the Animals”

by Josh Kimball

Read: A mashup review of Girl Talk’s “Feed the Animals” made from the scraps of other reviews written around the web. Linked version first; unlinked version (far more readable) below. Yes, this is a gimmick. And yes, I only wrote two words of it. And one comma.

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The element of surprise is gone from the mash-up. Still, Girl Talk, a one-man mash-up mania hailing from Pittsburgh, puts together a mean sampling album – the most recent, Feed the Animals, was released over the weekend on his website.

It’s a typically colorful, animated collection of seamlessly layered samples, with few pretensions to high art: This is a party album through and through, a place where classic rock riffs (Spencer Davis Group, the Guess Who) groove underneath contemporary rap hits and ’80s pop cheese. But Gillis makes some samples sound like brand-new music with a more complicated message: One striking sequence on “Play Your Part (Pt. One)” pairs “Hunger Strike,” Temple of the Dog’s shout-out to poor folks, with Ludacris’ cash-celebrating “What’s Your Fantasy.”

The record’s pacing is astonishing– with more than 150 sample sources (all thanked in the liner notes), it ricochets from Top 40 hits to obscure gems and back again like a cool breeze, clocking in at less than 42 minutes. There is a moment—and I do mean a moment—on Feed the Animals when Jay-Z’s “Roc Boys” is mashed up with Radiohead’s “Paranoid Android” and two of my all-time favorite artists share the room in a geek-out moment to end all.

Attempting to explain Feed The Animals and identify what succeeds or fails with the set can’t be done on the level of an album in its entirety, it’s hard to even approach each track on an individual basis considering what they are. The real fun of Feed the Animals is the act of recognition, so I won’t say much more, except this—Girl Talk’s Feed The Animals makes a great car washing soundtrack.

Unlinked version (see above for attribution):
The element of surprise is gone from the mash-up. Still, Girl Talk, a one-man mash-up mania hailing from Pittsburgh, puts together a mean sampling album – the most recent, Feed the Animals, was released over the weekend on his website.

It’s a typically colorful, animated collection of seamlessly layered samples, with few pretensions to high art: This is a party album through and through, a place where classic rock riffs (Spencer Davis Group, the Guess Who) groove underneath contemporary rap hits and ’80s pop cheese. But Gillis makes some samples sound like brand-new music with a more complicated message: One striking sequence on “Play Your Part (Pt. One)” pairs “Hunger Strike,” Temple of the Dog’s shout-out to poor folks, with Ludacris’ cash-celebrating “What’s Your Fantasy.”

The record’s pacing is astonishing– with more than 150 sample sources (all thanked in the liner notes), it ricochets from Top 40 hits to obscure gems and back again like a cool breeze, clocking in at less than 42 minutes. There is a moment—and I do mean a moment—on Feed the Animals when Jay-Z’s “Roc Boys” is mashed up with Radiohead’s “Paranoid Android” and two of my all-time favorite artists share the room in a geek-out moment to end all.

Attempting to explain Feed The Animals and identify what succeeds or fails with the set can’t be done on the level of an album in its entirety, it’s hard to even approach each track on an individual basis considering what they are. The real fun of Feed the Animals is the act of recognition, so I won’t say much more, except this—Girl Talk’s Feed The Animals makes a great car washing soundtrack.

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