Ratatat
LP4


3.0
good

Review

by Rudy K. STAFF
June 6th, 2010 | 45 replies | 15,746 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Ratatat bring everything you'd expect to the table and nothing more.

It’s not easy to create a distinctive brand of music that the everyday listener can categorically describe as “yours,” but that’s what Brooklyn-based duo Ratatat have managed to pull off since their 2004 debut. That combination of Mike Stroud’s signature high-pitched guitar sound and Evan Mast’s fluid bass lines and break-beat drum rhythms is practically a trademark, having that rare ability to be heard and immediately attributed to these electro/house/indie rock/whatever practitioners even if one is barely familiar with them. It’s even tougher to sustain that kind of success in an instrumental genre, where ideas fly past their expiration dates even quicker than usual and bands with an innovative sound soon find those same ideas turning on them, sapped of originality and joie de vivre.

Props to Ratatat, then, for making it well past the average lifespan of an instrumental rock band and making it to this, their fourth proper album. As expected, LP4 is a fairly traditional Ratatat record; weeping guitar lines, busy rhythm work, the occasional oddball instrumental flourish, and beats that fairly scream at you to chill out. It’s all very well and good, and if you’re a longtime Ratatat fan, chances are you’ll love this record. But if you were expecting any groundbreaking leap, any change whatsoever from a band long accustomed to fiddling with the same set of sounds over and over again, don’t come to LP4 for it. Hell, LP4 comes from the very same sessions that produced LP3, something listeners of that latter album will probably be able to tell right off the bat. The songs are denser, more packed with experimental side tracks and exotic accents, but they lack that certain oomph, that stick-in-your-head-no-matter-what-you-do quality that made an album like 2006's Classics such a, uh, classic.

Is this a bad thing? Certainly not, if you’re into Ratatat, and some songs here almost manage to stand up to some of the masterpieces of Classics: the deceptively slow opening of “Drugs” that rapidly degenerates into a filthy synth-fueled dance party, the occasional symphonic sample or mandolin bit that crops up on a song like the Eastern-flavored “Bare Feast,” the impeccably layered single “Party With Children,” complete with sexy harp. Stroud and Mast are still two of the best beat alchemists around, able to craft layer upon layer of instrument and sounds to brilliant effect, but it still sounds like you’ve all heard it before. It all leads to LP4 having little identity of its own, with the unfortunate tendency for tracks to blur into one another. It’s good for a low-key party, or as background music as you do something else that requires a bit more brainpower, but as an artistic statement, LP4 gives off the unmistakable impression that Ratatat just may have finally run out of gas.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
June 6th 2010



30882 Comments


Personally I don't see this as the sound of them running out of gas, just them doing their thing

Digging: FaltyDL - In The Wild

klap
Staff Reviewer
June 6th 2010



10258 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

yeah i just feel like they've done everything they can do with their sound

Digging: The Bilinda Butchers - Heaven

nicolauz
June 6th 2010



62 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Was dissappointed by this album...was hoping for more along the lines of 'lex' or 'one' 'two' from classics.

Enotron
June 6th 2010



7695 Comments


nice review. Not really interested in checking this out if it hasn't progressed much from earlier records.

SeaAnemone
June 6th 2010



19743 Comments


I've never heard this band... I take it Classics is worth a listen?

Digging: Towers - Bel Air Highrise Plantation

klap
Staff Reviewer
June 6th 2010



10258 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

yeah its solid

Ponton
Emeritus
June 6th 2010



5784 Comments


Good review rudy. I guess I'm like eric and will have to give Classics a shot. Also, good luck btw.

Enotron
June 6th 2010



7695 Comments


to me their remixes are the best thing they've done

Zizzer
June 6th 2010



915 Comments


I never really got into LP3, so I probably won't check this out.

Jawaharal
June 6th 2010



1832 Comments


ill probably get it. ive liked everything they've done even if they haven't evolved their sound much

i totally agree with how easy it is to recognize their production though

AgentZero
June 7th 2010



322 Comments


Loved the review right up until that last line. Agree wholeheartedly with Deviant. Pos'ed it nonetheless. Great job and can't wait to check this out.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
June 7th 2010



30882 Comments


Ya''ll crazy, except for the guy above me

But in saying that, they'll probably never top Classics

PuddlesPuddles
June 7th 2010



4767 Comments


Ahhh Ratatat. Nostalgiac for me

Ahhh Rudy. Sexy for me

sniper
June 7th 2010



18987 Comments


Idk about you guys, but Ratatat is annoyingly popular in my area. They're pretty decent sometimes but people here act as if they are the next revolution in electronic music or something.

Fucking hipster garbage...

Digging: Towers - Bel Air Highrise Plantation

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
June 7th 2010



30882 Comments


They're pretty decent sometimes but people here act as if they are the next revolution in electronic music or something.


Just having a laugh, but you are digging Cosmogramma ;)

Enotron
June 7th 2010



7695 Comments


made me lol, but Flying Lotus over-praise is more warranted than it is for ratatat.

telebyrd
June 8th 2010



869 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Deviant's right. S/T and Classics had the same feel. LP3 and LP4 have the same feel. It is too early to throw Ratatat under the bus with accusations of decreasing momentum. We have to see what they do next. An LP5 that does not vary from the formula of LP's 3 & 4 would be sad. But we're not there yet. They do need to throw us for a loop again with their next album, just as they did with the transition from Classics to LP3. They are about to reach their third phase (hopefully).

FxckNelson
June 8th 2010



10 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Everyone needs to hear Bilar, opening track on this album. :40-1:30 is better than anything they've ever done, what kind of music would that be considered? I need to hear more of that specifically, it blows my mind.

PoodleRapist
June 8th 2010



249 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

telebyrd is right about deviant being right.

AggravatedYeti
June 8th 2010



7684 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

album art makes me want to like this more, but its pretty much on par with LP3



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