released Jan 12th, 2010
from the album - Wtf?
from all music
The Chicago band OK Go combined off-kilter guitars, Pixies/Cars fetishism, and straightforward power pop sensibilities to produce eccentric, catchy songs. Consisting of vocalist/guitarist Damian Kulash, guitarist Andrew Duncan, bassist Tim Nordwind, and drummer Dan Konopka, OK Go formed in the fall of 1998. Prior to Kulash moving to Chicago from Washington, D.C., the other three members of OK Go had been members of the Chicago band Stanley's Joyful Noise. After just a few months, OK Go garnered considerable media attention in Chicago without having recorded a single full-length album, their success attributed partly to an exuberant live show and opening spots for heavyweights like Elliott Smith and the Promise Ring. They released two three-song CD singles to tide fans over until a full-length could be recorded, and also served as the sort-of house band for a touring version of the NPR show This American Life. OK Go eventually signed with Capitol and issued an eponymous debut in September 2002, scoring the modern rock radio hit "Get Over It." When the combo returned in August 2005 with Oh No, it was without guitarist Duncan, who'd left after sessions for the album had ended. His replacement was Andy Ross. Ingenious creativity helped the guys push their second album by making a couple of low-budget music videos that became hits thanks to their simple yet memorable premises. The video for "A Million Ways" featured the guys showing off their best synchronized dance moves in the backyard, spawning countless fan tributes online, while the popular "Here It Goes Again" included nothing but OK Go boogying down to the song on multiple treadmills.
Internet sensations have a short shelf-life which makes OK Go’s extended break after the treadmill-jumping clip for “Here It Goes Again” went viral in 2006 somewhat admirable. They resisted the temptation to knock out another collection of power pop and instead hibernated for a few years, eventually teaming up with Dave Fridmann -- a former member of Mercury Rev best known for his production work with the Flaming Lips -- with the intention of reinvention, resulting in the mildly bewildering Of the Blue Colour of the Sky. Rarely resembling the twitchy punk-pop of nearly five years ago, Of the Blue Colour of the Sky’s touchstone isn’t Weezer, it's Prince, an about-face the band cheekily acknowledges with the title of their opening track, “WTF.” Of course, Prince has been the white weirdos' go-to freak for the better part of two decades now -- Ween and Beck are in his debt, R.E.M. and Warren Zevon dirtied up “Raspberry Beret” as the Hindu Love Gods -- so the surprise isn’t the choice of inspiration, but rather that OK Go chose to return with a record that bears only fleeting traces of the pop immediacy of their first two: when they’re not knocking off the Purple One on “White Knuckles,” they’re on the same space trip as the Lips (“Back from Kathmandu”) or gazing inwardly like Beck on Sea Change. This spaciousness expands as the album rolls on, eventually obscuring the hooks of the first half -- particularly the surging “This Too Shall Pass” and spiky “All Is Not Lost,” in addition to “White Knuckles” -- and if the range is impressive, especially considering their neo-novelty background, it ultimately seems diffuse, not daring, never coalescing despite impressive moments.
1 WTF? OK Go 3:24
2 This Too Shall Pass OK Go 3:08
3 All Is Not Lost OK Go 2:43
4 Needing/Getting OK Go 5:13
5 Skyscrapers OK Go 4:38
6 White Knuckles OK Go 3:18
7 I Want You So Bad I Can't Breathe OK Go 3:22
8 End Love OK Go 4:05
9 Before the Earth Was Round OK Go 4:09
10 Last Leaf OK Go 2:33
11 Back from Kathmandu OK Go 4:12
12 While You Were Asleep OK Go 4:24
13 In the Glass OK Go 6:03