Boomkat Product Review:
It sounds like stating the obvious, but LP4 is a direct follow-on from Ratatat's LP3. That's true in more than name alone, however, and apparently the material for this latest collection was conceived during the very same sessions that birthed this instrumental duo's third album, released back in 2008. To explain the delay between these two releases, you need only take a glance at what band members Evan Mast and Matt Stroud have been up to over the last couple of years: in addition to extensively touring the globe, these two got themselves embroiled in bonafide hip-hop production, putting together beats for Kid Cudi and generally finding themselves gaining richly deserved recognition from the mainstream. The album opens in a suitably ambitious fashion, hopping through cleverly assembled beats with a memorable line in orchestration. The live instruments link up with the electronic components beautifully, and 'Drugs' only compounds this; it's like a glorious pile-up in which Sebastien Tellier, Mr Oizo, Brian May and Peter Frampton's Talk Box all lock horns in bass-heavy harmony. Across this album the duo librally disperse full string sections, duelling guitar melodies and even the occasional harpsichord run, all of which makes for an incredibly colourful collection of instrumentals. In addition to their newfound hip-hop sideline, you just know that Mast and Stroud have a great soundtracking career in them should they ever want one; the Jon Brion-like influences revealed on LP3 once again shine through on 'We Can't Be Stopped' and 'Mahalo', but it's on the more anthemic, full-throated cuts like 'Party With Children' and swooning closer 'Alps' that Ratatat truly excel. Recommended.