ratatat-magnifique

After the party, the after-party? Evan Mast and Mike Stroud seem intent on riding their heavily-layered, infectious feel-good loops and hooks as long as they can – this is album number five, not counting numerous singles and remix compilations. And so far, it’s been an enjoyable, if somewhat repetitive, ride. But ‘Magnifique’ marks the point where one expects more diversity from the Brooklyn based multi-instrumentalists, and it’s disappointing that very little is forthcoming.

That’s not to say there’s nothing to admire here. There’s a deep sense of escapism and joyous abandon embedded in all 14 tracks, and Stroud’s guitar work remains as spry and agile as ever. When they hit the highs, such as the woozy tropicalia of the title track, or ‘Nightclub Amnesia’’s bright, fizzing one-two punch of hair metal guitar and bouncing electro-pop, it’s easy to be seduced. But too much seems wedded to the past – both ‘Abrasive’ and ‘Rome’ sound like long lost, hyperactive Strokes demos – a fault that drags ‘Magnifique’ towards the level of 2am, last-orders-at-the-bar revelry.

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