Review : Girl Talk - All Day
PitchforkThe simplest way to a successful and rewarding career: Find something you love doing, then get paid to do it. This is why people talk about Greg Gillis with a tinge of envy; Gillis has figured out exactly what he was put on this earth to do-- transform five decades of pop music into seamless mixes, and then, live, turn those mixes into a sweaty, tribal celebration of pop music itself. But while 2008's Feed the Animals proved his staying power and solidified his aesthetic, there was a creeping concern that as long as Gillis stuck with this maximalist mashup thing, we'd be stuck having the same arguments for and against him over and over. So, the question with his fifth album, All Day: At the tail end of 2010, is a newly minted Girl Talk fan someone who just hasn't heard of him before? Or is Gillis capable of converting those still on the fence?
If there are still holdouts, the arguments against Girl Talk are getting slimmer. Despite the sheer number of party DJs and bedroom mashup artists, All Day further proves nobody does it better than Gillis. Some have questioned his legitimacy as a DJ, suggesting an artlessness to his disregard for cratedigging, but almost as if baiting those detractors, Gillis goes even more mainstream with his source material on All Day. (By contrast, his calling-card LP, Night Ripper, might as well be Endtroducing...) And while even many fans considered the extended runtime of Feed the Animals to be a lot to take all at once, All Day clocks in at a titanic 71 minutes-- almost 20 minutes longer.
Against those odds, Gillis turns his perceived weaknesses into strengths; as his most fussed-over and carefully plotted album, All Day paradoxically sounds like his most effortless. He's still operating within a "if it's not fun, why do it?" ethos, but fortunately, it doesn't have the same relentless pacing of his prior work, offering occasional cooldown moments to collect yourself between spaz-outs (my favorite being is the "Imagine"/ "One Day" comedown that closes out the album). This is crucial, since it's meant to be listened to as a whole.
If you need a five-minute fix, "Get It Get It" is the best illustration of how the roomier confines of these songs allow the samples to breathe, evolve, and take on a life of their own without wearing out their welcome. Scoff at the supposed wackiness of matching "Pretty Boy Swag" with "Windowlicker" and you'll miss one of Gillis' most inspired musical arrangements. It's not great because of novelty, it's great because it makes perfect sense: Soulja Boy's halting cadence syncs flawlessly with Aphex Twin's fidgety programming, amplifying the implicit weirdness of the former and the skewed pop instincts of the latter. Later in the track, Rage Against the Machine's "Killing in the Name" backs up M.I.A. protégé Rye Rye, proving how much agit-pop is enhanced by kickass guitar riffs. And about midway through, Gillis sets the hyper machismo of Pitbull's "Hotel Room Service" against Depeche Mode's "Just Can't Get Enough", underscoring Girl Talk's modus operandi: the search for hedonistic pleasure....full text
PopmattersThe most impressive thing about the latest Girl Talk album is the vast arsenal of “UNH!”s and “OH!”s and “AY!”s that Gregg Gillis has amassed and put on display. On his new record, All Day, the mash-up hero may have collected every single utterance of those syllables committed to tape by a hip-hop artist in the last, say, 30 years. It certainly feels that way. If his decision sounds to you like it might be somewhat excessive, you have good instincts.
Pulling apart a Girl Talk record—admitting to anything less than six-pack-of-Four-Loko crazed enthusiasm at every beat and pitch shifted vocal—makes one feel like the ultimate killjoy. At the very least, offering a critique seems to miss the point. Isn’t this music meant to be pure candy, the equivalent of offering free kegs of high fructose corn syrup along with the Natural Light at your next party?
It is free, anyway. Gillis surprise-dropped the album on his label’s website, giving downloads away to anyone and everyone for not even the price of an email address. It’s a nice gesture, and one that gives further credence to his (undisputed?) title of Ultimate Party Maestro. So why interrogate the music? Why flick the lights on and off and herd people toward the front door?...full text
TechnoratiIf you’re not familiar with Girl Talk let me put it to you this way. Take hundreds of songs, some of which you know and love, some of which you know and hate and some that you don’t know at all, mash them together, add a pinch of genius and you end up with more fun that is allowable by law listening to one album. I don’t care what your musical tastes are, there is something for everyone.
In lieu of composing a snobby or back patting review, since the album is meant to be listened as one continuous piece yours truly wanted to offer up a running diary of the highs and lows of Girl Talk’s latest, All Day, which by the way is available as a free download. I insist you grab it before reading the rest.
Scene Set-Up: Prepping for dinner. I have large knives in my hand. iPhone docked in iHome. iHappy. Please also note that Girl Talk not a listening party, but rather a feeling. The only way to enjoy it with friends (or alone) is to be able to shout the first thing that comes to mind.
Track 1 “Oh No”
When an album immediately starts off with one of my favorite all-time songs, Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs”, I lose it and begin flailing around the room immediately. It even makes a Ludicrous track, that I don’t like, much more enjoyable....full text
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