It has been five years since these treadmill dancing gents from Chicago graced us with an album. That's right, Oh No, the album that made them an internet sensation during the summer of 2005 was this band's last release. On a major label, Capitol Records, from the beginning, OK Go seems to have gained some creative freedom since then. With Oh No behind them, OK Go has gone through some major renovations in sound. Although I am typically a big fan of bands experimenting with their sound to find a winning formula that they can call their own, the overhaul performed by OK Go is not necessarily all for the best.
The album opens with the appropriately titled "WTF?" which is exactly what OK Go fans might be saying after hearing the introductory single to OK Go's heavily Flaming Lips influenced reconstruction. The glowing cause of this new sound is none other than the addition of longtime Flaming Lips producer and engineer, Dave Fridmann who has recently contributed to the success of MGMT. The catchy hooks of OK Go's past are not gone, but many of them are lost in a sea of reverb and slap back echoes. With unconventional instrumentation often distorted for added effect accompanying less routine rhythm patterns, the only true discerning sound remaining is Damian Kulash's vocals.
The album's third track, "All Is Not Lost," may not be the best track on the album, but the title tells the truth. OK Go's alternate direction will likely be a disappointment for many of their original fans, but the mix is perfectly put together and the new electronic cornerstones create a very interesting listening experience.
OK Go begins to settle in about halfway through the album. The slow groove of "Skyscrapers" and the contrastingly catchy following track, "White Knuckles," are easily more single worthy than "WTF?" and are definitely the best examples of OK Go blending their experimental side with the addictive tunes that got them to where they are; or at least to where they were five years ago. Of the Blue Colour of the Sky may not have been the best choice of styles for OK Go, but every band is entitled to something new from time to time and once you get past the initial shock, the aftertaste is often pretty delicious.
Similar Artists: The Flaming Lips, Spoon
Track Suggestion: Skyscrapers