Girl Talk "Feed the Animals" Review

Originally published in the OCCC Pioneer on July 7th, 2008.

In this digital age, artists, such as Girl Talk, don’t even have to play any instruments to create great music. Some simply use their laptop and a hard drive full of mp3s.

Girl Talk is a mashup artist who uses only samples to create his songs, changing and tweaking them to create a cohesive whole.

With the release of his new album, “Feed the Animals,” Girl Talk is pushing the boundaries of what a mashup record can be.

The mashup genre is generally considered a simple novelty, but “Feed the Animals” goes a long way to change that.

Current hits, hip-hop, 80’s pop, 90’s alternative, 70’s dance, and classic rock are all represented here in some form or another.

One of Girl Talk’s biggest strengths is how he has the ability to grab the attention of the listener with nostalgia and familiarity. Even if the listener is hearing Girl Talk for the first time, they have undoubtedly heard many of the songs Girl Talk pulls from. The album is at its strongest when it combines rough rap verses with a slower, more subdued backing.

Huey’s “Pop, Lock, & Drop It,” works perfectly with Journey’s “Faithfully,” and it’s strange how well Girl Talk meshes Lil’ Wayne’s current smash “Lollipop” with the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Under the Bridge.”

Though the album is split into tracks, it’s clear it was meant as one long party mix.

Girl Talk is really flaunting copyright law on this album. There are more than 300 samples used, and their copyright holders have cleared none of them. No one has yet come after Girl Talk for copyright infringement, but with his status and popularity rising, it’s only a matter of time.

Girl Talks use of the Radiohead method of releasing “Feed The Animals,” in which fans can go to his website www.ill and pay what they want for the record.

So far only established artists such as Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails have attempted this strategy, and it will be interesting to see how it works for a lesser-known artist such Girl Talk.