Review Summary: A headache inducing glitch that should have remained a secret. Genuinely unlistenable to at times.
As both a fan and reviewer of various styles of music, I tend to look for the positives of albums before dwelling on the negatives. For that reason, I will usually find something to like on even those LPs which are heavily criticized by most, thus lifting that album above the minimum rating possible. It may be a catchy chrs hr or a mscl hk tr --- bzzz ---- bppp... pshhhhhhhhhhhhh.
Oooh, I'm sorry, but it appears as if this review suffered a glitch at the end of the introductory paragraph. How annoying. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if readers simply clicked on the "back" button or entered another website page into their browser. I mean, a "glitch" can never be a good thing, can it? By definition, a glitch is something which "interferes with the efficient working of a system". I'm certain everyone has encountered one, whether it be on their computer or television. So why would anyone in their right mind think a glitch could be a positive when it comes to music?
Yet, "glitch" is indeed a musical sub-genre. For those who are unitiated to this lack of common sense, wikipedia defines it as "a genre of experimental electronic music that is characterized by a preoccupation with the sonic artifacts that can result from malfunctioning digital technology, such as those produced by bugs, crashes, system errors, hardware noise, CD skipping and digital distortion". And we wonder why our parents believe music was better in their day!
Girl Talk - who is actually one man; Greg Gillis - is an American mash-up DJ who later received critical acclaim for his 3rd and 4th albums. Thankfully, by that time, there was very little glitch involved (at least at the forefront) in his compositions. However, for those unlucky enough to lay their ears on his debut album titled 'Secret Diary', that is very much not the case as the LP is (both literally & figuratively) one big glitch in itself.
Things actually begin with 30 seconds of relative normality as 2 Unlimited's 'Get Ready For This' kicks things off fittingly. But then the glitches begin and it's all downhill from there as the album bleeps, skips and scratches its way through ten tracks of absolute garbage. At least the opening 'Lets Start This Party Right' has the decency to only last for a little over 2 minutes, unlike others which cross the 4 and 5 minute barriers, resulting in this abhoration totaling 40 minutes all up!
Looking for positives is a tough task. Familiarity through the sampling of The Jackson 5, Jay Z, Destiny's Child & Papa Roach adds something, while I guess the use of the Price Is Right theme in conjunction with Jay-Z on 'Unicorn vs Gravity' was a nifty idea. But let's get things straight; these minor positives in no way make up for tracks such as a 6 minute Master P and New Kids On The Block collaboration that may cause seizures. And if you think that is bad, try getting through 'Fun Have To' and 'Time To Get Glamorous', which are quite possibly the most unlistenable headache inducing pieces of (for want of a better word) music ever to be recorded. And they're each 5 minutes long!
Sometimes confusing and disorienting pieces can be a long-term positive once a listener gets their mind around the music on offer. But when it gets as dizzying and unlistenable as 'Secret Diary' does, then only those who actually want a headache will be left. That's not even mentioning that the constant switches in volume throughout gets f**king annoying to say the least. In fact, the most effective aspect about this debut is its title. Both a secret and a diary should remain personal. It's a shame this album did not.
Recommended Track: Let's Start This Party Right.