As long as you don‘t expect Daft Punk, you shouldn‘t be too disappointed. The third album from electro duo Ratatat isn‘t as rousing and danceable as one would hope and is generally reminiscent of car commercial background music. That being said, LP3 and its exotic, fluttery beats are hard to dislike.
In general, the album feels airy and lively, incorporating a diverse range of sounds including the harpsichord and zither. For the most part, the meticulously produced beats fail to make me want to get up and dance, but it did make me want to sit and listen.
The best tracks incorporate international sounds that are vaguely non-western but hard to pin down. With its varied keyboard effects “Mumtaz Khan“ has something of a Middle Eastern feel, while “Blulee“ sounds like it was recorded on a windswept beach on some faraway island – Caribbean, maybe? “Gipsy Threat“ has a mysterious, perhaps Eastern European rhythm that sounds eerie and foreboding.
One of my favorites is the colorful “Shempi,“ a fast, dizzying blend of old school Nintendo beats and fun guitar hooks. It is the kind of track that makes one feel as if their head should be lit up and spinning in circles like a disco ball – strange, yes, but delightful.
Despite the interesting riffs and innovative synth beats, my main gripe with Ratatat‘s strictly instrumental music is that I feel I would enjoy it more if vocals were incorporated somewhere in their songs. Although the album has moments of true danceability, listening to it from beginning to end feels somewhat hollow, like it is missing the comforting voice of a human being.
Give these tracks a listen: “Shempi,“ “Shiller“
For fans of: Justice, Brian Eno