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Ratatat

4.4 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 20, 2004
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Editorial Reviews

Formerly known as Cherry, this NYC duo is already familiar to hipsters and they've also toured the West Coast with Interpol. In fact, Interpol's Paul Banks occasionally guests on guitar. Look for them to tour in support of this debut.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 20, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Xl Recordings
  • ASIN: B0001FT2US
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,980 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

By J. Benedict on July 30, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Before I go on to rant about how much I love this album, I want to give a warning to all those who love the radio music and MTV garbage: You won't like this. Ratatat will most likely appeal only to those who are fans of post-rock, downtempo, and other ambient music forms.

For those that are still reading, I can't recommend this album enough. Ratatat is made of two incredibly talented musicians; Mike Stroud and Evan Mast (the former of the downtempo group "E*Vax"). Anyone familiar with E*Vax may have thought their album lacking in melodic content. Ratatat takes Mast's prowess in beats, keyboards and programming and adds the melodic genius of Stroud's guitar playing.

The music has been compared to many different groups, so allow me to offer one more comparison. Think of The Album Leaf with flashier beats, less "real" (or unfiltered) instruments, and electric guitar instead of acoustic. The beats and basslines are almost always programmed and tend to use a bit of a videogame sound. On top of this is an electric guitar run through so many filters you can't always recognize it; and it is playing some of the most beautiful melodies I've heard in a while.

The coup de grace with Ratatat is their song writing ability. This duo does not fall into the ambience trend of redundant soundscapes or just adding in new loops every 8 bars. The melodies have verses, bridges and refrains and will throw you off with tempo changes, dynamics, and one of the most anticipation-inducing build ups in music history.

The first song is a little decieving though. It starts with incredible energy and a dance floor feel until about 2 and a half minutes in. It then subdues itself into a feel more fit for the remainder of the album.
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Format: Audio CD
Ratatat sets forth to create something incredibly hard to create: a comprehensive album without a single true lyric. Sure, they have a guy talk at the beginning of a few songs, but he's never incorporated into any of the songs. This means several things: first the songs need to be more interesting musically than normal, because we don't have a story to pull us along; secondly, we can't get distracted by bad lyrics, only bad melodies - something I am happy to report do not exist on this lp. Ratatat pulls this off beautifully, bringing out the positive qualities of instrumentals and shirking the negative ones.

So the human instrument of voice may not be heard on it; but the subtle chord and melody changes from the guitar and keyboards put the idea of cluttering up these songs with words to shame.

The album starts of with a very heavy backbeat under the dancable song "Seventeen Years;" then, gradually, as the song goes on, it mellows out and ends at another place entirely from where it started. They never go back. That's not to say there aren't any up-beat, big back-beat songs, but not to the extent they start out with. I think it's a great kick-off to the album. Their mellow, Gibbard-esque songs lend themselves to repeated listens, and Cherry is reportedly one of the best make-out songs of the college generation. There's a lot to the disc, so it rewards repeated listens. An album worth owning, and an album worth living with.
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Format: Audio CD
If you are looking for a description I'd describe this as:

Video Game inspired. Other people have said this but it's

undeniable...this is video game final boss music. Some tracks are so emotionally intense its funny. This album is big on "Up front" production, meaning you hear no "room sounds", it's all hyper processed, in your face guitars and keyboards that sound like guitars plugged directly into your brain. The music is almost classical in it's chordal intensity and modulation...definately not punk ethos, 3 chord stuff. Each song is meticulously arranged...they keep you coming back to every verse or chorus with something fresh at all times.

There are a couple weaker tracks...but they probably serve to mellow out the constant intensity...so I guess when considered into the whole they are valuable.

Very original and if you don't like it would surprise me.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
after LP4, this is my favorite ratatat album. very concise and fun to blast in the car for a quick pick me up! this album is no where as musically deep as some of the later albums, but more songs are in the "i love it" range for me. i still have not figured out why there are not a ton of rap mix tapes out there over ratatat beats. i know kid kudi had them on a couple songs, but these tracks need very little work to be great rap beats, if any. must have in your collection of trib-hop!
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Format: Audio CD
This is a very good album, the only problem I have with it is that at times the songs begin to feel alittle repetitive, but ususally the problem is shortly stopped. The first song is genius, and the last song is amazing (if you can get past the long introduction), the problem is that the rest of the album just doesnt quite live up to the first track. Its all good, but they really peaked on that first track, so it sets the bar for the rest of the album. But it is still a great album that I enjoy very, very much. Mixing rock with techno and being successful is a large feat that should be rewarded.
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