CD Review: Girl Talk — All Day; Playing The Tabernacle, January 21

Girl Talk
All Day

Illegal Art

By Sam Parvin

Gregg Gillis, more commonly known by the moniker Girl Talk, has recently released his fifth full-length album, All Day, a behemoth of mash-ups of songs ranging from Ramones’ “Blitzkrieg Bop” to Dorrough’s “Ice Cream Paint Job.”

The album starts off with Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs,” with “Move Bitch” from Ludacris weaving in and out.  Nostalgia is an emotion often felt when listening to Girl Talk, and its presence is no exception with All Day.  You’ll hear old rap songs reminiscent of high school spring break (50 Cent, “Get Up”), The Grateful Dead samples that remind you of dancing ‘round the living room to your parents’ vinyl (“Casey Jones”), ‘90s grunge (Toadies, “Possum Kingdom”) you were pouring over after your first boyfriend broke up with you in eighth grade, and last summer’s theme song (Miley Cyrus, “Party in the U.S.A.”).

Girl Talk’s work has been the topic of controversy for his sampling other people’s music without obtaining licenses.  There will even be a panel at the 2011 South By Southwest festival called “Why Girl Talk Hasn’t Been Sued.”  He claims that his use falls under the fair use doctrine, which has held up thus far; he has yet to be legally pursued by any sampled artists.

If you are not familiar with a lot of the songs Gillis samples, your initial reaction to his work may be color me unimpressed or simply – that’s an ass-shaking good time. But his seamless integration of 373 songs ranging from iconic rock riffs of the past three decades to obscure recent pop tracks shows that Girl Talk has really done his research and put gobs of time and effort into making a statement.

All Day is a clever and thoughtful commentary on popular culture and its evolution.  For a better understanding of the work that went into All Day, visit and listen to the entire album while each song sampled is displayed in real time.

Girl Talk will play the Tabernacle on January 21.


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