Thursday 25 November 2010

All Day, All Night

The master of mash-ups is back. In the two years since Feed The Animals, Girl Talk has continued to absorb yet more musicians into his encyclopaedic mega-brain and his gift to humanity is another hour-long mix of rap, rock, pop, metal and electronica, all set to bouncing hip-hop beats.

Opening with a blend of Black Sabbath's 'War Pigs' and Ludacris' 'Move Bitch' (an unconventional mix, to say the least) and including within its 372 samples Lady Gaga, Madness, Aphex Twin, T-Pain, Rhianna, U2 and even John Lennon, Girl Talk's choice of songs - or expert mixing skills - never fails to delight. You'd be hard pressed to find someone whose favourite band - or rapper - is missing from the selection (my favourite band is in there twice!).

The album, like all of Girl Talk's back catalogue, essentially consists of one giant song divided fairly arbitrarily into individual tracks. It works best in a single listen, and Girl Talk's notoriously short attention span means that whenever you might feel even a little bit tempted to turn it off, he'll chuck in some Daft Punk. Or some Supergrass. Or 'Paint It Black'. It's difficult to stop, honestly.

Considering Girl Talk's heavy emphasis on hip-hop (the entire thing is, after all, just one giant hip-hop track) it comes as no surprise that this is as sublime a selection of the genre as you could ask for. I'll admit here that it's not quite my area of expertise; however, my housemate informs me that B.O.B pops up no less than six times throughout All Day as a leitmotif of sorts, similar to Lil Wayne in the previous Girl Talk record.

Look further though, and you'll see Girls Talk's work is so much more just than a demonstration of the breadth of his iTunes library. Somehow he combines these tracks in a way that complements both to the extent that they sound even better than the original. Whether this is achieved by matching up similar rhythms ('Teach Me How To Dougie' and 'Jane Says'), similar themes (Rye Rye's 'Bang' and Rage Against The Machine's 'Killing In The Name Of'), or simply by supernatural powers attained in a mysterious storm is unknown to me.

(A side note: is there maybe a theme to the album? It's difficult to tell, with so many different, sometimes obscure, tracks (wikipedia users are already on it, of course), but starting with 'War Pigs' and ending with John Lennon's 'Imagine' seems more than just a coincidence.)

It may essentially be more of the same - and if you know Girl Talk already you'll know what to expect - but for the uninitiated it's a wonderful pop music 'best of'. Maybe his appeal will wear thin in the future, but for now Girl Talk has undoubtedly himself found a glorious little niche to carve out. The most mind-blowing feature of All Day is the fact that, despite the fact that his records are made entirely from samples of other people's songs, they retain a distinctive Girl Talk sound - celebrating the universal joy of music itself.

Ps. Did I mention the entire album is being given away for free? Oh yes. Now you have no excuse.

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