Since last year’s release of Night Ripper, Girl Talk (aka Gregg Gillis) has gained gushing praise from all over the blogosphere (read: Pitchfork blogs on him daily. Oh Pitchfork, how one dimensional you are). In an effort to bring moderation to coverage of this laptop pirate from my hometown, I submit the following points.
1) Night Ripper is an absolute triumph. The record spans 40 minutes, includes over 150 sample sources, and thus plays like a pixie-stick powered romp through top 40 radio, your mother’s oldies station, dirty south rap, indie dance rock, and literally everything else that you can think of. I’ve been listening to the record for over 9 months now, long enough for any novelty factor to leave, and I still absolutely lose my mind on ‘Smash Your Head’ when Biggie Smalls raps over Tiny Dancer.
2) Gillis’ other work is spotty, at best. Unstoppable, which preceded Night Ripper, is largely a hit and miss affair. As well, Girl Talk’s remix work varies widely – His remix of Grizzly Bear’s “Knife” is perfectly executed (thanks to a heavy handed use of Clipse), whereas his take on “Let’s Call it Off” by Peter Bjorn and John dumbs down an excellent original to a pseudo-steel drum / music box failure.
I don’t know whether Girl Talk will have longevity as an artist. It’s unlikely that another record like Night Ripper could work just as well given the basic premise of his music – hyperactive mashup. I feel that, even though the novelty factor of Night Ripper doesn’t leave after multiple listens, it could leave with multiple records. However, if Gillis continues his success, I am excited to hear what’s next.
Tags: Girl Talk