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Ratatat: LP4

XL

Back in 2004, Ratatat helped to usher in a new electronic/dance music craze with their debut self-titled album. Now, in 2010, that scene is infested with imitators and hangers-on. Thankfully, Ratatat knows how to keep shit fresh. The tunes on LP4 betray its rather dull title; Ratatat returns reinvented and the result is splendid. They have always displayed a genuine understanding of composition and melody, but here it’s whittled down to elemental form. The playful "Neckbrace" utilizes disembodied voices and film strings, something out of a Transylvanian dance party. "Mahalo" is the stoned soundtrack of a roaring luau after everyone has passed out from too much rum. LP4 has the familiar keytarmonies and spaceship synths of previous Ratatat outings, but it feels fresh, alive. Like their electropsych chums MGMT, these guys seem to have found themselves at a crossroads in their young career; but unlike MGMT they have chosen the proper path. 4 stars out of 5.