LP4 - Ratatat

Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. So LP4 may seem like a glorified mess but it has all the coherence and sensorial vigor of one of those Ed Hardy ink designs: unabashedly gaudy with a hard-assed physique; its Byzantium details revealing a mid-to-late century decadence that may still only appeal to a select audience.
  2. While expanding on what it's done well, the group doesn't cease to be adventurous on LP4.
  3. It means you can put on LP4 around any mixed group of people at a barbeque or house party this summer and people can simply enjoy the sensory pleasure of interesting, lively music without analysing the cultural baggage than comes with it. The King of Space-age Pop would surely be proud.
  4. It feels like they could keep making these records forever with no diminishing returns; the level of quality and imagination never drops an inch on LP4.
  5. The New York duo make experimental electro pop that works.
  6. It is instrumental rock music that is experimental, emotional, colorful, and engaging, while skillfully blurring many musical boundaries.
  7. 76
    Like LP3, Ratatat's sound is fuller than on its freshman and sophomore releases. And with strings more dominate on LP4, once again, the guitars actually sound like guitars. Throw me that pick.
  8. Many of the tracks merely fade out rather than hitting a discernable climax, but it's to Ratatat's credit that it's so entertaining to hear them dig around in the studio sandbox.
  9. The hooks have gotten naggier, the production crisper, to the point where 'LP4''s wide-eyed squelchy funk is carving them an oxymoronic niche: 'utterly compelling background music'.
  10. 70
    A track like "Grape Juice City" indeed showcases the duo's tendency to prance upon unique wavelengths and make them their own but, a little extemporaneous head-butting between the sounds would keep Ratatat atop the sonic badlands they created.
  11. 70
    Four albums on, Mike Stroud and Evan Mast have barely altered their instrumental electro/indie/hip-hop hybrid, except to expand and refine its tasteful details.
  12. LP4, without a shadow of a doubt, is the most self-indulgent, unpredictable record of the year so far.
  13. A good deal of the album (particularly the first half) uses the new-fangled instrumentation sporadically, as an afterthought to a slightly darker version of the duo's time-honored techniques. This is where LP4, though flawlessly produced, is messy.
  14. 60
    All too often, though, slick jams such as "Drugs" and "Party With Children" resemble library tracks, exercises in style that pirouette exquistely, but shy away from becoming anything meaningful. [Aug 2010, p.93]
  15. LP4 hints at the band's potential. The mildly weirder arrangements and quirkier synth twists on Party With Children are signs of what they should have fully run with.
  16. Stroud and Mast are still two of the best beat alchemists around, able to craft layer upon layer of instrument and sounds to brilliant effect, but it still sounds like you've all heard it before. It all leads to LP4 having little identity of its own, with the unfortunate tendency for tracks to blur into one another.
  17. The results are mixed. The album never fully escapes the feeling of rootless hipster genre-rifling. But the skill of Mast and Stroud at engineering riffs cannot be denied. [Jul 2010, p.60]
  18. Ratatat always aimed for the flashy yet mass-produced flavor of sub-luxe fashion and lifestyle accessories--and for at least two albums, they hit their mark. But at this point, their sound is wearing increasingly thin and producing diminished results.
  19. Dec 21, 2010
    As quiet strings and stupid whizzing noises pull the curtain on LP4, all I imagine is Ratatat going, "Alright, party's over, guys" and all I can think is "wait, is that what was happening for the past 43 minutes?"
  20. What's frustrating is that beneath the surface of LP4 there appears to be the basis for a great record. But its execution is too rote, too much the result of being so entrenched in the band's Ratatat-ness that the material is suffocated.
  21. LP4 is every bit as unimaginative as its title suggests, picking up quite literally where 2008's lackluster LP3 left off.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 16 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 3
  2. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. Jan 30, 2011
    Yet again, another album whose ratings have been slashed by the critics, in an genre which they really don't understand. This is undoubtedly a jewel in Ratatat's crown. This album takes a much more abstract or "trippy" approach than their other albums, and succeeds. Yet again, Ratatat doesn't fail to deliver, and I can't find a single track in the entire album that I dislike. My favorite would have to be "Bilar," because of the incredible drop in the beginning. This is probably the best album Ratatat has released to date, and the best album I've purchased this year. Full Review »
  2. Nov 5, 2013
    [5.1] For an electronic group with so much promise, Ratatat has a bad tendency to execute their music sloppily and ironically, without much energy. For a band that can sometimes produce orchestral electronics with a fairly limited range of tools (as far as other bands of their kind goes), most of the problem with this album is that it is just too boring. The instruments are brought together in a wonky way that doesn't help with the group's lack of vocal input. Overall, Ratatat tries too hard to be an experiment instead of a full blown project. Full Review »
  3. Oct 26, 2012
    This album, in my mind, is the pinacle of Ratatats collection so far. The opening track is one of the most beautiful pieces of music that I have ever heard. It is abstract and disjointed and absolutely beautiful. 10/10. A masterpiece. Full Review »