Breaking down Girl Talks “Feed the Animals”

Greg Gillis, aka Girl Talk, has put together one of the years most frenetic and enjoyable albums with Feed the Animals.? He basically smashed up most of popular music over the past 40 years to craft 14 songs.? It’s like listening to the radio for those with ADD, but hearing something new instead.? Sometimes it’s glorious and sometimes it can be a bit much.

To be honest, though I love the album, I have to be doing house chores or partying when listening to it.? It’s the kind of album that if you listen to it intently can be a bit jarring.? Instead, I like to listen to it in the background when I’m not really paying attention to the music only here or there.

Anyway, the album was a donate-download (grab it before it’s too late) earlier this year and once it streets in physical form it’s going to be a copyright and legal headache. It shouldn’t.? It’s a work of art and consummate skill.

Wired provided a bit of deconstruction on the album, but Andy Baio over at Waxy has done some incredible statistical analysis of the album that is just amazing.? It’s great to be able to see the album and have a better appreciation for just how complicated and difficult what Greg was able to accomplish.

Mr. Gillis takes familiar songs and makes them new, he makes things that don’t belong together sound as if there was only one way to hear them. Like overlaying vocals from Jay-Z over a music sample from Radiohead’s Paranoid Android” that segues into “Real Love” by Mary J. Blige with a backing beat of “These Eyes” from The Guess Who, among the many other samples contained within.

Andy breaks it down.? For example: “There are 14 tracks on Feed the Animals, with a total of 264 sampled songs. “What It’s All About” and “Like This” have 26 sampled songs each, tying for the most, while “Don’t Stop” has the fewest at 11 songs. Overall, the album averages 19.8 songs sampled per track.

The timeline below shows where each sample was triggered across the entire album, as a percentage of the song’s duration. (For example, a marker at the 50% mark on the 9th line means that a sample started halfway through track #9, “Hands In the Air.”) You can get a sense of the flow of the album, how Gregg spaces samples apart and occasionally switches moods entirely by introducing three samples in quick succession.”

Also: Girl Talk puts on one of the most undeniably amazing live shows around.? It’s a giant dance party, you have to experience it to believe it.

Mp3: Girl Talk – “Set it Off”

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