I’ve never listened to a lot of mashups. I appreciate a lot of vs. songs, like most of Party Ben’s, more than I enjoy them. That’s especially true of the Evolution Control Committee’s “Pwn Monkey”, which layers the vocals from Jonathan Coulton’s “Code Monkey” over thirty different songs, all chosen to match the vocals’ chord progressions. The song reminds me of constrained writing like a lipogram or a Yngwie Malmsteen solo: technically proficient but not a lot of fun. Danger Mouse’s The Grey Album would be much better if I enjoyed Jay-Z, and Sgt. Petsound’s Lonely Hearts Club Band left me cold.
Why, then, can I not stop listening to Girl Talk’s “Feed the Animals”? In a lot of ways it’s like “Pwn Monkey” in that it uses a tremendous number of samples and provides the cheap entertainment of “hey, I recognize that sample!” Yet in this case the songs make me happy as songs above and beyond any nostalgia encoded in them. Give a listen to “Hands in the Air” on Girl Talk’s MySpace page and see if you can sit still.
If you want mp3s of the album, Girl Talk will sell them to you for any price, including $0. So, really, why not give them a listen?