Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Ratatat - LP3

Download: Ratatat - "Mirando"

LP3 (Beggars/XL, 2008)
Grade: B-

Should one certainly shouldn't believe everything they read on the internet? Probably not. However, if one lends credence to the rumor that Brooklyn-based duo Ratatat, the duo behind the creatively titled electronic music opuses as RATATAT and Classic are being signed to The Neptunes' label in order to be groomed as their successors, it will reveal a remarkable amount of subtext to the two-some's latest effort, LP3 (leaving nothing to the imagination, are we, boys?).

Even though RATATAT are in a genre which is partially obsessed with creating ethereal soundscapes (and they do create some nice ones on album opener "Shiller"), LP3 settles into the otherworldly electro-funk that the aptly named production team of Chad Hugo and Pharrell Williams seemingly brought down to Earth as Afronauts from another planet for the good of humankind. Tracks like the Daft Punk-esque "Falcon Jab" or the easy-going, reggae-tinged "Flynn" help listeners easily close their eyes and imagine any rapper of relevance spitting some truth over these, or any of the dance-club ready tracks that follow ("Bird Priest", "Shempi").

And therein lies the problem, and solution to, all of LP3's flaws. The record simply is more interesting and well-crafted than actually enjoyable, and its because of the anonymous nature of the compositions themselves. That may be the point for electronic-music (and its producers) as a whole, but that doesn't make it any less non-distinctive on the part of the listener. Still, RATATAT are a duo obsessed with pretty collages, and they come up with some nice ones, particularly on album closer "Black Heroes", which serves as a reminder that strawberry fields are indeed forever. While LP3 is no slouch of a record, a little more original personality (original like, say, The Neptunes) would have made a good record a better one.

RATATAT MySpace Page

(Jonathan Graef)

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12:40 PM  

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