What GVSU listens to, No. 3: Girl Talk

Courtesy Photo / Google Images
Girl Talk - All Day

Courtesy Photo / Google Images Girl Talk – All Day

Tom Hardy

Gregg Gillis returned to the playlists of off-campus parties everywhere a few short weeks ago with his fifth mash-up album, “All Day.” To those unfamiliar, Gillis has been crafting his career around the works of others by using popular rap songs mixed in with classic rock jams. It sounds simplistic, but the final product results in instant dance-offs. All of the raunchiness and swagger of the rap songs remains intact, and backdrops from such stars as Bruce Springsteen and Black Sabbath deliver add depth to satisfy any music fan.

This is the beauty of a Girl Talk album – there is something for everybody. You can “Get Ur Freak On” while bopping to the blitzkrieg of The Ramones. “All Day,” in particular, serves as Gillis’ defining reinterpretation of popular music over the past 50 years. At any (and often, every) given minute of the album, you’ll find a smile across your face at the genius of the intricate positioning of each sample. “Single Ladies” with “ … that one brass chord progression that sounds so familiar?”; Beastie Boys rocking a duet with Lady GaGa over the legendary drum n’ bass intro of Iggy Pop’s “Lust for Life?”; wait a second, am I actually enjoying Soulja Boy or is it just the memory of how great Aphex Twin is? Moments of nostalgia like these keep your feet moving and the sing-alongs loud and jubilant for seventy-one blissful minutes.

A criticism of Girl Talk and other mash-up artists is that, well, not a single note is self-produced. And this is true – Gillis uses 372 samples of various chart smashes in order to create his own brand of sugar-sweet party music. However, he released it for free, sheltering him from any threats of lawsuits regarding royalties. Sure, the spring tour is already sold out, but that’s beside the point. If you can get over the unabashed profanity use, you will find beauty in “All Day.” You can dance to the whole thing, and there will be moments where you recognize every sample. And yes, French Indie poppers Phoenix and Ludacris combined is amazing.