Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Girl Talk: Feed the Animals [Illegal Art, 2008]
My body already knew what my powers of distinction told me when I replayed the Pittsburgh DJ's 2006 breakthrough mashup Night Ripper, which is that this is the one that goes for the jugular: historically guaranteed barn burners like "Gimme Some Lovin'," "A Whiter Shade of Pale," "Rebel Rebel" and "96 Tears" validating modern-day filth on the order of UGK's offensive "International Players Anthem" and Three 6 Mafia's odious "I'd Rather" (the one where Project Pat pretends he did his bid as a top). But only when I printed out Wikipedia's list of samples [Wikipedia]--good enough for downloaders, though an official version comes with the official release--did I get it. It's like reading along with lyrics no one can fully make out unaided--by the Clash, say. Mining classics like "Mickey," "Bad Girls" and "Mama Said Knock You Out" for beats you can't ID without a scorecard, chipmunking such totems as the Band, Radiohead, Sinead O'Connor, Styx and the Beastie Boys, marching Kelly Clarkson to Nine Inch Nails and Britney Spears to Air, fabricating duets by Trina and M.I.A. or Public Enemy and Young Leek, Gregg Gillis has plenty to say about music. What he has to say about life, which is that "I'd Rather" equals "Gimme Some Lovin'," remains more limited. Nevertheless, sequences here give me hope. In my favorite, Ice Cube's "AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted" turns into Hot Chocolate's "Every 1's a Winner." A