Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Review: Ratatat, LP4

A- if you’re the twenty-something at the party upstairs
F+ if you’re the parents of the newborn sleeping downstairs

“Was wird da draus?... Was wird daraus?”

The second track of Ratatat’s latest full-length, LP4, starts out with a voiceover from what I guess must be some old German film. Let me translate…Professor Sonorous Gravely Man Voice is saying, “What will come of this?” It’s almost as if Ratatat was questioning where on earth this latest album was going, if anywhere at all. The eager listener isn’t really sure where they’re going either through these seconds of pondering, at least not until Ratatat launch into “Drugs” and fully wallop us over the head multiple times with a solid succession of tunes. Tunes, I might add, that you will be hearing at parties all summer long (“Oh my God, I LOVE Ratatat! Why aren’t we friends?”), will be remixed with the latest Miley and J-Biebz by fall, and will make it onto the next installations of Super Mash Bros and Hood Internet mixtapes several times. Take my word for it.

The general world of People Who Collectively Decide What Music Is Good And What Music Is Not (by that I mean the 500000000 music blogs currently in existence, brought to you by The Internet) decided fairly unilaterally that Ratatat’s 2008 full-length, LP3 was weak. To quote just one: "the album lacks the propulsive urgency of previous Ratatat efforts." LP3 was weak, WGTB readers. Thankfully, Ratatat learned from their mistakes, essentially they realized that everyone was still listening to “Seventeen Years” (off the self-titled album) on repeat. This album takes several paces back from the spacey, more instrumentally diverse LP3 and returns to the neat, raw, guitar-and-synth bundle of success, making LP4 sound much closer to earlier albums (Classics, Ratatat)—and thank God.

Was wird da draus? (transl: "What will come of this?") EIN TANZFEST wird daraus. (transl: "a gathering in which many people are vigorously dancing will come of this.") This album could not have been timed more perfectly: it is nothing if not a summer album. The pace never drops below effortless boogie, and will have you at full out rave at certain points. This guy knows what I’m talking about.

Stand Out tracks: "Party With Children," "Drugs," the end of "Bare Feast" when a woman’s voiceover says this: “Yeah, I used to wait for people…after school and beat ‘em up (laughs), if I didn’t like ‘em, if they were pretty, or if they smiled too much.” Me too!

-- Fiona Hanly


GT said...

I like this two grade thing we've been doing.

lp4 also was recorded in the same session as lp3 so they literally just held onto the music they thought made the most sense for a separate album. Apparently they thought these were the more experimental songs. I feel a bit jipped, like we didn't get any actual development here, like they worked less hard at first to make it seem as if they were making leaps and bounds later. Lil Wayne woulda just released a mixtape for LP3, released LP4 a couple of years ago and would already be on LP5 if ya know what Im sayin. Good album, but the story behind it is weak.

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