Girl Talk
Feed the Animals


4.5
superb

Review

by Nick Greer EMERITUS
June 19th, 2008 | 124 replies | 46,865 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Imagine if rock candy had the nutritional content of brussel sprouts.

Girl Talk - Feed the Animals

The cover art for Gregg Gillis' most recent creation, Feed the Animals, is a nice avatar for Gillis, considering his Girl Talk oeuvre. The image of a typical, suburban house, with ample lawn space and a two-car garage invokes all of the banal trappings of the pop music that is likely listened to by the residents of that house. However, when we see that suburban scene through the lens of Girl Talk, those platitudes are transformed into an ostentatious and flaming night scene. The corresponding pop music also morphs into something edgy, intriguing, and wonderful. Gillis has effectively given an otherwise innocuous image his own brand - literally. Technically, this musical morphing means sampling a wide range of music spanning genres and decades to create entirely new compositions that both embrace and defy pop music.

What does this mean for Feed the Animals though? Gillis' first two albums were notable for how different they sounded from his breakout album Night Ripper, though they all have the same Frankenstinian spirit. Before the album's release, Gillis promised (see my interview with him here: http://www.sputnikmusic.com/feature.php?id=4981) that the album would be more detailed but also more continuous and expansive than anything he had composed before. However, the resulting sound is only a shade off from the songwriting paradigm established on Night Ripper. There are only a few sections where it feels like Gillis really trying to establish a less vacillating song flow, particularly in the first half of the album, and the highly detailed sections feel akin to those on Night Ripper and not the fractionally divided samples found on Secret Diary and Unstoppable. That's not to say that there aren't expansive passages and that there isn't highly detailed sampling work to be found on Feed the Animals, but fear not fans, it's neither too schizophrenic nor too static. It's the Girl Talk you all know and love (because let's be real, 95% of GT fans are on the wagon because of the success of NR) and Feed the Animals will forever be held up against Night Ripper, and maybe even seen as a continuation.

In some ways though, Gillis' sample-length doesn't matter in the face of his sample-choice. The samples he decides to throw in are what characterize the overall flavor rather than minute tinkerings to his method. Feed the Animals contains both expected and unexpected appearances. The album has its usual pop classics (Jackson 5, Earth Wind and Fire, etc.) against jangly modern rap and R&B (Soulja Boy, T-Pain, Ray J) and rap antiques (LL Cool J's "Momma Said Knock You Out" and Dre's "Bitches Ain't Shit" being two of the most polished). There are also those little indie artist shout outs. On Night Ripper we got Neutral Milk Hotel, The Pixies, and M.I.A. On Feed the Animals, we get Of Montreal, Yo la Tengo and, once again, M.I.A.'s obligatory perky and marble-mouthed jive. However, some of the nicest additions are not what make Feed the Animals feel like the sequel, 2NightRipper2Furious, but what separate it from Gillis' flagship release. There is a lot more rock all over the board. There's Radiohead, Queen, The Band, Nirvana, The Cranberries, The Cure. There are tracks that are more indebted to classic rock (Thin Lizzie's "Jailbreak" against Soulja Boy is inspired) and others that tend towards shoegazing and 80s post-punk (I'm loving the way The Cure and The Cranberries fit onto this album). Even the meatheaded metal of Metallica's "One" works as a strange bedfellow to Lil Mama's "Lip Gloss." On the other end of the spectrum though, there's also much more low-key and lo-fi facet of the album. The pace of the opening tracks is languid at best, and a big reason for this slow start is because of the presence of more ambient, pensive, and chill excerpts from Pete Townshend, Temple of the Dog, Aphex Twin and Sinead O'Connor. Though these stymie the album's initial acceleration, they ultimately are welcome additions because they expand the sonic palette of the album, which is always a plus on an album that draws its power from creating an eclectic pastiche. Ultimately, inclusiveness only increases the did-he-really-just-do-that factor that propels the most compelling moments in Girl Talk's collection.

There is yet one final test for Feed the Animals. We all know that it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing, and this album delivers on the mark. Feed the Animals, despite its tentative start, is chocked full of the same bombastic booty-shaking moments that defined Night Ripper. This album is so fresh, in fact, that songs that are still in rotation and inspiring molasses-thick grinding like Usher's "Love in the Club" feel rejuvenated, as if they were in dire need of a new coat of paint. In short, this album is nearly perfect. Maybe in future releases, Gillis could be yet more eclectic, maybe even delving into jazz and classical, if only in tiny segments, to expand his soundscape further. As a parting note, I'd like to draw attention to a small part of the album. On the track "Still Here," at around 1:17, Gillis gets his beat from Radiohead's "15 Step," the first track on In Rainbows, an album that has since gone down in history as the first major "paypal for play" album. Hopefully, Feed the Animals will help cement this tradition if only so we can get more Girl Talk.



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user ratings (292)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Electric City
Staff Reviewer
June 19th 2008



15693 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

oh really? touche nick greer, I'll be picking this up asap.

Digging: Nmesh - Dream Sequins® [AMDISCS]

DFelon204409
Emeritus
June 19th 2008



3995 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

You can pick it up hassle free from my blog. I use the download link from the site itself and offer a link to donate via paypal. Easy easy.

http://worshipandtributemedia.blogspot.com/2008/06/girl-talk-feed-animals.html


IAmInsect
June 19th 2008



3800 Comments


i've been hearing good things about this. good review as usual.

AtavanHalen
June 19th 2008



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Fuck me, that was quick.
Both the release and the review.
This man is a dance music god, I am obsessed with this! Great review too.

SpinLightTwo
June 19th 2008



1011 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks for the link, I really wanted to listen to some of his stuff.

by the way, your Prime Meridian project sounds cool so I'm gonna check it out

DFelon204409
Emeritus
June 19th 2008



3995 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Thanks dude. Though this is off topic, I've heard generally positive comments about Prime Meridian so I'm glad at least a few people are listening.

brandtweathers
June 19th 2008



2009 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

listening to it right now and what stands out is how fun this is. thats 'expected' tho i guess.

solid review nick. great segue way into conclusive remarks regarding radiohead... i was half waiting for that but didn't expect it to be done so eloquently. like many of the samples on this album ha

YourBiggestFan
June 19th 2008



22 Comments


I just got this, and it is quite fun.

My favorite moment was hearing Autumn Sweater tear it up. Crazy.

SpinLightTwo
June 19th 2008



1011 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks dude. Though this is off topic, I've heard generally positive comments about Prime Meridian so I'm glad at least a few people are listening.


Yeah man, I'm gonna listen to it in full soon, but I have to get my Girl Talk on right now.

I'm only the second track but damn.This Message Edited On 06.19.08

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
June 19th 2008



15693 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

what the hell

SpinLightTwo
June 19th 2008



1011 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is great

FlawedPerfection
Emeritus
June 19th 2008



2806 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This shit is hot

Skyler
June 19th 2008



1084 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

great album, much more refined than night ripper

HighandDriving
June 19th 2008



3232 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is the ultimate party music, just in time for summer.

The Jungler
June 19th 2008



4827 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This album rules, I like it more than Night Ripper, I think. Some of the samples/combinations are amazing.
Review was definitely good.

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
June 20th 2008



4925 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah I mean this album is good, but it's just another party mix. I wouldn't say it's 4.5 status because I don't see the innovation from the previous record, but it's another solid release with new songs.

sgrevs
June 20th 2008



698 Comments


Sweet review, can't wait to hear this.

Apocalyptic Raids
June 20th 2008



810 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

this hasn't really hit me like night ripper did. none of the sections (except maybe the grandmaster flash sample in set it off) have really thrilled me like the biggie/elton john or nas/pixies ones did.

it could grow, but idk. i haven't really listened to night ripper much since last year either so i think it's more to do with me not really being into girl talk anymore rather than the album being bad.This Message Edited On 06.20.08

cfbassist
June 20th 2008



324 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

its okay, really just not my cup of tea


doesn't help a friend of mine is shoving the fact he considers it album of the year down my throat

HighandDriving
June 20th 2008



3232 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hearing the "Peace sells" bass line put a huge smile on my face.This Message Edited On 06.21.08



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