Ratatat is my favorite band in my whole Work Rotation. Despite producing music that some people think desperately needs vocals, they manage to suck me in every time I am reading or writing and even thinking about listening to anything else. A few songs from LP3 had been circulating for awhile, and unlike others who think that all of these songs sound alike, I was actually heavily anticipating this album.
In Ratatat, they established a strong ability to produce good, melodic beats using little more than guitars. In Classics, they took these melodies even further, creating what was essentially a whole album of rhythmic guitar solos. When I saw them on that tour, I struck by how much they *looked* like some classic rock band, jamming on guitars. In fact, if one were to edit the montage to change out the music, that is very easily what it could have been.
Compared to LP3, the other two albums (and even the Remixes albums) are like quiet children doing their homework on a Sunday afternoon. A few people have commented that the album feels very hip hop, and at times, it certainly does. Most of the album, though, feels like a journey to some exotic, foreign place, in which one can sit and observe the mundane sounds of the street, and in them, find music.
LP3 is very middle-heavy in terms of the quality of songs. The best song is probably "Dura," for its stylistic range. Others, like "Imperials," feature inventive sound effects and clapping that definitely caught my auditory attention. IMO, clapping is still one of the best, cleanest ways to produce a beat, and collective clapping evokes an emotion that is unmatched by anything produced by a synthesizer (see Against Me!-"Those Anarchopunks are Mysterious"). "Shempi" is more traditional Ratatat, though it sounds like a superhero theme song.
Buy the album from the label or on Amazon.