When you have one good idea, you can make a good album out of it. That’s what Night Ripper was, one good idea (40+-minute mixtape of nothing but a bunch of smallish samples) and a good album. Another album with the exact same idea, well, sure, it can have its moments, but it’s just more of the same gimmick. Eventually, a gimmick artist needs to either find a new gimmick or go away, lest they make an album as dreadful as All Day. Even four years ago, people were commenting that mashups were a bit past their prime and losing their initial appeal, but now they’re just unbelievably tiresome when you have a hundred thousand of them being made daily by anyone with Ableton. This isn’t just about an idea that’s no longer new, though, it’s that Girl Talk just isn’t making good music any more.
What started out as the sort of mashups you’d go crazy about how strange a combination they were (Boston and Ludacris?!) are now going more and more into one new hip hop song over the beat from a different hip hop song. And they just. Go on. Forever. Not only do we hear an endless mashup of the Single Ladies vocal over the Ante Up beat, we then hear the Ante Up vocal over... something, I forget what, but you get the point. And it’s not like it’s the first time he did that trick on the album; the first track has Blitzkrieg Bop’s vocal followed by Missy Elliott rapping over the instrumental. GT used to give people just little tastes of these things, not an entire verse then an entire chorus over the same beat without changing it up at all. This also means that the parts that just sound terrible (Shimmy Shimmy Ya over Creep with extra bonus fun handclaps and drums) go on endlessly with seemingly no hope of it changing ever ever ever. That particular one even degrades into bedroom-producer style one vocal playing at the same time as another.
The overall sound is just so much sweeter and cleaner than it used to be. Night Ripper had some moments bordering on abrasive, or at least not just a vocal over some syruppy-sounding pop song. I’m sure it won’t be too long before we start hearing these mashups on mainstream radio, chasing the coveted spot of the second-ever mashup to cross over to #1 pop hit (yes, this has happened before, look up the history of the Sugababes version of Freak Like Me).
The best moment comes early on, again in the form of Ludacris over a 70s rock song, which leads me to conclude that he just needs to stick to making rap-rock remixes of Luda. I might get some strange looks for this, but the world does need more decent rap-rock beats that don’t remind people of RATM or nu-metal, so Gillis should go on making songs like that. Please. Go do that instead. Stop making these albums. Or go back to making weirdo glitch music, because at least that was doing some new things instead of just serving as self-promotion for live shows to play to people that “don’t really like hip hop, but.”
I would write more here, but I’m approaching the point where I had to turn the album off due to its sheer tiredness the first time I tried to listen to it. So this is all the album gets.