Endless Loop: Seventeen Years

ratatatHave you ever had one of those songs that gets stuck in your head for days…weeks…years? Sure you have. These are the songs that always make the cut. The songs on repeat. We all have them. I have a ton. Welcome back to Endless Loop.

“Seventeen Years” by Ratatat

“I don’t write my stuff anymore I just kick it from my head you know what I’m sayin?”

The fusion of rock music, dance music, and hip-hop has been pretty prevalent over the last 30 years, producing a whole plethora of instant classics…and some steaming piles of manure that are best forgotten. But when it’s good, it can be damn near great.

Airing more on the side of danceable, electronic rock, but with a certain hip-hop zest, Ratatat’s “Seventeen Years,” the opening anthem from the duo’s 2004 self-titled album, is the perfect amalgamation of styles and influences. The crunchy guitar riff and playful synth lines that start the track almost immediately gets the foot tapping and the head bobbing. The funky disco beat that plays throughout, before giving way to a hand-clapped finale, plays like the undercurrent to some old school, inner city dance off or rap battle engagement from 1980. You can practically see the speakers quaking on the boom box, some amazing dubbed cassette within it, and an amusing and amiable cast of characters surrounding the scene.

It also kind of rocks.

Ratatat continues to put out groovy jams, but nothing has ever quite caught me the way “Seventeen Years” did back in ’04*.


*Except for maybe their endlessly fun remix of Notorious B.I.G.’s “Party and Bullshit.”


Thomas H Williams

Thomas H Williams

From a bunker somewhere in Central Texas, Thomas H. Williams spends most of his time with his wife, his two sons, and his increasingly neurotic dog. He listens to a lot of music, drinks a lot of excellent beers, and gets out from time to time. For even more shenanigans, visit heavenisanincubator.blogspot.com.

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