Ratatat, "LP4"

81 Billboard Rating

Ratatat's appropriately titled fourth album, "LP4," doesn't fall far from the New York electronic duo's 2008 set, "LP3." But the addition of a string section and hand-drums to the group's arsenal of clashing sounds gives the new release a more exotic vibe. Ratatat takes electro-beats to a new level with masterful arrangement on "Bilar," which features at least a dozen instruments. The delightfully funky "Mandy" begs to be sampled by a Dirty South rapper, while "Bare Feast" has a South Asian flavor with a twangy sitar-like melody and diverse percussion. The spoken interludes--as heard on "Party With Children," which features a sample from the 1978 film "Days of Heaven"--is another departure from Ratatat's previous album. Otherwise, the track exemplies the duo at its best: precise drums, bold guitar leads and dazzling synths, plus a harpsichord for theatrical effect. While expanding on what it's done well, the group doesn't cease to be adventurous on "LP4." --Ilya Skripnikov

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

Print