REVIEW: Girl Talk – All Day

Fuck. He’s done it again. Seriously. I’m massively enamored with Gregg Gillis’ (a.k.a. Girl Talk) work already, but to follow on from 2008′s brilliant Feed The Animals, he’s released this album for free. He tweeted, “Anyone want to hear my album right now?” and then “My new album is called All Day. I’ve been working on it for more than 2.5 years. I’m releasing it within the hour for free” I was flipping out. I did not think this day would in anyway be remarkable. Then Girl Talk springs this! In a recent Pitchfork interview it gave the impression that the album wouldn’t be out for a while. But today of all days. Dropped it because he can. I can imagine the finished body of work being a pent up frustration for him and wanting to get it out there, this was the quickest way to do it.

The samples come thick and fast as ever. Opening with a Black Sabbath mix that he’s been playing live, as shown in the Chicago New Year’s Eve film, although to list them would prove a hard, lengthy exercise, I can guarantee you will undoubtedly recognize around 80% of what is going on at anytime. There is so much going on. It seems just as busy as his previous albums, Feed The Animals and Night Ripper, but there is breathing space between mixes and samples, letting you enjoy them, a wise move from Gillis. This hectic and eclectic mix is by far one of the best things released this year. The same old arguments that he’s just taking other people’s musical talent are bound to crop up, yet Girl Talk makes something almost completely new from other music. Plus, he has already created for himself an incredibly unique legacy in his disparate, sample-filled discography.

There’s mixes like M.O.P.’s “Ante Up” and Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the USA” that are fucking impressive. Totally mental and unorthodox, but what else would you expect from the master of the mash-up? Truly an artist of this generation’s perpetual attention deficit disorder. Lady GaGa, Iggy Pop and the Beastie Boys in one segment? Check. Biggie rapping over Cream’s eternal hit “Sunshine of your Love”? Check. Mixes like this just seems to totally make sense when heard. The artificial construction definitely breeds some kind of natural quality and I, like I imagine many others, probably struggle to realise that he’s actually completely changed song or segment until you hear a ridiculously good part that you recognize. There is a real subtlety of transition, with the amount of layers there must be, making the mix fluid and not choppy or littered with blanks, basically, it flows. Beautifully.

Like what has come before it, you cannot deny the excellence of Girl Talk. Brilliant mix after mix that, despite any resistance will get you dancing. Also, against what Greg Gillis said himself, in the fact that his albums and live set are separate entities, you cannot help but feel that this is the kind of set he would play live. It’s a party mix, undoubtedly. Brilliance from song to song, that will get people going. There’s too much that is already in the sphere of pop juxtaposed against the kind of music that generally isn’t to make an anomaly of an album, that despite the possibilities of commercial misgivings will always connect with a certain audience. I’ve been waiting for the chance to see Girl Talk for the last two years. If such chance happens to crop up, you know that I will be there.

I cannot recommend it enough. Download right now, via the Illegal Art website. You need this record in your life. Get a couple of choice cuts below, but make sure you listen to it as a whole.

That’s Right
Triple Double


  1. Ryan Andrew Walsh wrote:

    I actually found it to be lackluster. His previous efforts were so energetic. This one felt way too laid back for my tastes. Oh well, Ludachrists new album “Talk Is Cheap” is awesome at least. :)

    • Nathan wrote:

      I think downplaying the energetic sides has let the samples and mixes breath a little, there’s a nice solid pacing throughout in my opinion, but you are right, in comparison to the others, it’s a little more laid back. And I need to get on that Ludacris album!

    • Zachary wrote:

      Hate to see it, but I completely agree. I get that he was going for more “laid back” but the way it came out just felt lazy (which seems like an odd impression to come away with, considering the claims that he’s labored over this album more than any other).

      One of the most exciting things about “Feed the Animals” was just how quick new samples and combinations were thrown at us. The quick change-ups – which were always seamless, by the way – were just as impressive as the combination of samples themselves. The rapid-fire style was a big part of what made “Animals” so mind-blowing.

      But on “All Day”, samples linger way longer than it seems they should, making some sections pretty monotonous and ultimately kind of boring (as I was listening, I couldn’t help but think more than once, “Okay, time to move on …”). And worse yet, many of the transitions here felt uncharacteristically rough. It just didn’t have the same flow as “Animals”.

      There were a few moments that were brilliant. The intro was fantastic. And Lil Jon’s “Get Low” against Simon & Garfunkel’s “Cecilia” in the track “This is the Remix” was one of those classic, transcendent Girl Talk moments that made me grin like an idiot. But where those moments were all over “Feed the Animals” (and in slightly lesser abundance, “Night Ripper”), they were pretty scarce throughout “All Day”.

      “Feed the Animals” was perfect all the way through – it doesn’t feel like there’s any point of the album weaker than the rest. Can’t say the same of “All Day”. I look forward to listening to the album again, but on first listen, I was pretty disappointed. It was felt less like Girl Talk, and more like pretty-good-but-not-quite-right impression of Girl Talk.

  2. Zachary wrote:

    But oh, just to add: My rant aside, I totally appreciate your review! I know a lot of people are gushing over the new album, and I completely understand why. It just wasn’t quite what I was looking for (and I suspect my ridiculous love for “Feed the Animals” set up these insane expectations that just couldn’t have been met).

    So yeah, despite our disagreement, good write-up!

    • Nathan wrote:

      Haha, thanks! Now, to rant back a little;

      I totally get your point of view, but I have to disagree, I feel that when you listen to it you can hear the effort and patience, I think that he aimed more to create something that refined what he has done before. In my opinion, it’s as brilliant as any of his prior work. I don’t want to downplay how good Feed The Animals is, because it has and always will be fantastic, but at times I felt it was much too quick, and had too much going on that hearing it, in effect, lazier made some seem better to me, if that makes sense?

      Also, Night Ripper, I think I consider that my favourite, purely for such memorable parts like the Ciara/Ludacris/Prodigy opening and Biggie’s “Juicy” over an Elton John song, of which I forget the name. You are right though. He has set himself a pretty high bar in terms of follow ups, with such a solid discography already. Again, glad you appreciated the review, I like to think that I’m gushing over it purely because I’ve been a pretty avid follower since Feed The Animals dropped, and I’ve definitely been anticipating it for a long time.

      • Zachary wrote:

        Yeah, I get ya too. Haha.

        I think, really, I just need to listen to it again. Second time around, with my expectations adequately beaten down, I’ll be able to take it the album that it is – rather than the album I was expecting it to be ahead of time. I don’t doubt that I’ll come to appreciate it more over time.

        Ha, you’re thinking of the Elton song “Tiny Dancer” on “Night Ripper”. And yeah. That was classic.

        • Nathan wrote:

          Haha, I think you could definitely eventually appreciate it as a different beast altogether. And yes! that is the song I was thinking of. I’d have to name that mix, in my opinion, my single favourite Girl Talk moment.

  3. girl squak wrote:

    lackluster for sure. Definitely lacking the energy that put his mixes into the realm of awesome, leaving just another mash-up artist. It no longer has the wow factor that it used too, and also seems less full. Of course there are some great parts, but I think he no longer distinguishes himself from other dexterous djs. also his references are preeeetttyy played out…

  4. Ben wrote:

    Nice review. Some moments are transcendent – like Miley Cyrus and “Ante Up”, Portishead and Big Boi, ODB over “Creep”, etc. As always, the final 10 minutes are fantastic. He knows how to put a button on his records.

  5. Patrick wrote:

    So disappointing. From the first hit of “War Pigs” my hair sprung up with goosebumps; this was going to be an epic album. But then…. nothing happens. The song doesn’t develop, the backing beats are looses, the blends aren’t tight and the samples go on for too long. What made the first two albums great was the quickness and tightness of the beats. These samples are much to spaced out and don’t flow as well as past albums. Pacing also rarely changes. The album gets slicker as it goes on, but the first 1o minutes could be cut and trimmed out with no real loss. Hopefully since he released it online he can do a little power editing and remix it for the live shows.

  6. mike wrote:

    it’s decen enough, no feed the animals, but the biggest downer is it sounds like DJ cobra, hood internet, or e603. they hit a lot of these same samples HARD in the albums they’ve put out in the time since feed the animals came out, and now GT’s latest sounds like a knockoff oddly. GT still KILLS it live though. bootlegs are his best work.

  7. bart wrote:

    interesting opinions, i wasn’t too impressed either and have been listening for 10 minutes to feed the animals and remembering why i felt it was so much better. but with the review in my ill give all day another try and see if i can follow the reasoning.

  8. do you people have sticks up your asses? wrote:

    this guy’s not trying to win grammys here with his shit… he knows what he’s got going. just a bunch of mash-ups. there are only so many ways a mash-up can sound. everyone’s heard the mash-up these days so it’s hard to be creative and unique with new shit.

    but all i gotta say is that nothing beats hearing some fresh girl talk. every second is something i didn’t expect. i’m not looking for some inspirational music when i search ‘girl talk’ in my itunes i’m looking for something to vibe to. black and yellow over paint it black??? i could not believe that. 412 ALL DAY

    • Nathan wrote:

      thank you for agreeing! I think people expected some kind of genre-changing album, when you can’t really change the mash-up/bastard pop genre any more, he’s just doing what he does best, refined over these last few big years for him.

  9. NumNum wrote:

    Maybe, ironically, I’m the lucky one here for not even hearing about Girl Talk until this album came out. My friend sent me the link to download All Day and I listened to it today with no expectations. I absolutely loved it!

    Then I bought Night Ripper and Feed the Animals and loved them too; but i guess I can see the disappointment for those that heard them first. In those albums you can see that he is trying to push the limit to mashing in all that he can in a unique way; All Day is much more relaxed. But for me, All Day is the standard for comparing his previous work which makes it so much better. For once it seems that missing the wave and jumping on the bandwagon is a good thing!!

    Maybe I’m the only guy alive who hadn’t heard of Girl Talk, but I think releasing this album for free is the smartest thing he could have done, especially if this genre is aging. There may be a lot of people like me who will buy his older stuff now.