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Their third studio album, following 2006's "Classics." The characteristic guitar style is still present here, but there are an abundance of new textures, from Wurlitzer and mellotron to live rather than programmed percussion. The album will be preceded by the release of the limited edition 7-inch "Shiller", a completely beatless track which opens the new album.
"Ratatat make a thick instrumental soup with equal dashes of analog touch and digital chaos. Everything from slide guitar to sleigh bells and harsh metal riffs to club dance beats get chopped up and mixed up in their concoction that gets the whole crowd moving." --Slap
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That's pretty high praise.
Ratatat keeps up the good work with this album. I can't really say whether LP3 is better or worse than Wildcat or Classics, since Ratatat's music really defies that kind of thinking. Asking whether a particular Ratatat song is better than another song is like asking whether this lemonade is better than that tree; they are unique items with unique characteristics, and while some characteristics might objectively be viewed as making a positive or negative contribution, they can really only be viewed as parts of a broader soundscape. Each song contributes *richness* in different ways, like the layers of cake, and the total is greater than the sum of parts.
What I can say, definitively, is that a world with 14 more Ratatat tracks is better in every way than a world with fewer Ratatat tracks.
I rated this album 4-stars for only one reason: a few of the tracks use non-musical sounds as part of the basic rhythm (splashing water or scratching guitar strings, for example), and I feel like a few of these choices were distracting and did not fit with the whole composition.
Edit added: I was composing a playlist recently and realized why Ratatat is so important to me. As I dropped ELO's *Yours Truly 2095* and a track by Daft Punk into the same playlist, I got to thinking that in decades of musical development, way too many things have stayed the same. Honestly, you could drop early-80s ELO into a club today and it would sound perfectly at home. You could send My Chemical Romance back in time, and they could do a double-header show with Cheap Trick and nobody would think it sounded strange. Eric Burdon of The Animals could sing right along with Rob Thomas and you'd never think that Mr. Thomas was the result of 40 more years of musical evolution. Don McLean and Beck could mix a new word salad, and the common thread would be unmistakable.
That's why Ratatat is so important. It's unapologetically, unmistakably *new*, and breaks ground in musical sound. We need more of it.
Unless you've listened to another ratatat album right before, then your ears may hurt.
If my hearing is gone when I'm old because of this, I think that's ok. I'll have heard enough by then
So overall, as weird as it is, I can't recommend it enough.
This one is better. They've gone more for a hip-hop feel on some of the songs, but some are completely different. They have more beeps and clicks, and a lot more variety between songs. If you want a good sampler of the album, listen to track 2 (Falcon Jab) and track 11 (Mumtaz Khan).
Glad to see there's still actual music being made by bands that don't change for the mainstream.
Buy it, take the time to relax and enjoy.