Girl Talk

Feed the Animals

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Released two years after 2006's Night Ripper, in the same pay-your-price fashion as Radiohead's In Rainbows, Girl Talk's Feed the Animals finds Gregg Gillis continuing to reinvent the mash-up with his everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach. For his last album, Gillis took the concept of bastard pop to a new extreme -- not by merely syncing up two unlikely artists, but by taking up to 20 unlikely artists and mashing them together on particular tracks. Like a sequel to a big-budget summer blockbuster, Feed the Animals follows the formula that made Night Ripper a success and piles on even more action. This time, the material is taken from a wider genre pool, the samples are more fragmented, and the breakneck pacing is stepped up a notch. Where Night Ripper had approximately 150 samples scattered throughout, Feed the Animals scurries through 322 samples. Where Night Ripper succeeded because of its use of records that typical DJs wouldn't dare spin, Feed the Animals is comprised of even riskier choices -- with Gillis pulling more frequently from the annals of rock (borrowing from Megadeth, Argent, Temple of the Dog, Thin Lizzy, and AC/DC, among others), and diving deeper into the pool of irony (with Kenny Loggins, Chicago, Rick Springfield, Big Country, Journey, and on and on.) The old-school and Dirty South theme runs rampant over the backing beats, no matter their vibe, as thuggish lines like "Where I'm from, I see a dead body every day" and "You know that I'm liable to bust a cap 'cuz it's all about survival" coincide with the peaceful coos of Sinéad O' Connor and the disco-funky keys of Hot Chocolate. With such a vast wealth of content, there's a little of something for everybody: nostalgia for those who recall the originals, singalong hooks for fans of modern and old-school rap (courtesy of E-40, Chuck D, Jay-Z, Busta Rhymes, ODB, T-Pain, Eminem, Ice Cube, Ray J, Lil Wayne, and Kanye West), an anarchistic attitude and element of danger for fans of a bad boy aesthetic (no, he didn't pay to use these samples -- who could afford to?), and enough uber-precise slicing and dicing to inspire a new generation of DJs to follow in his footsteps. An enthralling post-modern mosaic of found art -- a true masterpiece that you can dance to.

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