Girl Talk's latest is more accessible than a wheelchair ramp at the Special Olympics. An amazing feat considering the album boasts 373 samples from artists as varied as Fugazi and Rihanna to Missy Elliot and Cream. That many samples gives us audiophiles a chance to demonstrate that all the hours spent alone in bedrooms on Friday nights listening to General Public records were well worth it as we pontificate on Girl Talk's re-imagining, re-contextualizing and re-hashing of the last 50 years of popular music.
Throughout the album's 71 minutes there are breathtaking moments of unexpected musical synthesis, especially on the front end. Rihanna's "Rude Boy" vocal on top of the pulsing bass of Fugazi's "Waiting Room" will play forever in my mind movie. Ooh, Pitbull and Depeche Mode? Happy day!
But things sound lackadaisical at times. The Radiohead sample of "Creep" paired with ODB's "Shimmy, Shimmy, Yaw" looks good on paper. However, it's reminiscent of sitting at a stop light during the 1990s with two variant carloads of teenagers bumping jams. Also, nobody, absolutely nobody, wants to hear the "Single Ladies" chorus ever again.
All that aside, this album exudes danceabilty and fun. What more can a gal ask for?
Girl Talk plays the Wilma Theatre Monday, March 14, at 8 PM. $30/$25 advance.