Ratatat: LP4

Ratatat is the unofficial favorite band that I keep locked up in the closet. I really don't know why--it isn't as if its shameful to admit that I listen to them for hours every day, and that any academic achievement I've had in the last four or five years has been partially their doing. But, despite the care that is obviously put into these songs, and despite the way that they seem to connect with me through some kind of giant cosmic brainwave of productivity, I rarely talk to people about them, nor can I name any of the band members, and I've only seen them live once.

All of that is to say that the long-awaited LP4 is finally coming and I am actually excited despite not launching into full-scale countdown mode as I often do with The Magnetic Fields. It has been far too long, especially because it is allegedly the leftovers of LP3. Nothing wrong with that. It is still good enough to deserve a permanent spot in the work rotation, though there is a tad more foreboding and narrative here than any of its predecessors. At times, it has the richness and sense of anticipation characteristic of a Clint Mansell score, and at other times, the guitar distortion brings you right back to the band's S/T. There are some sweet bubbly purring sounds thrown in there, as well as some lovely vocal onomatopoeia that reverberates like my younger brother's beatboxing without all of the spit and embarrassing hand gestures. Overall, this is the most vocal of any of the band's albums so far. It will take me awhile to decide how I feel about it. For now, listen to the whole thing stream over at NPR until June 8, when you can purchase it.


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