OK Go
Of The Blue Colour Of The Sky


3.0
good

Review

by Davey Boy STAFF
January 11th, 2010 | 105 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Hardly recognizable from the power-pop band that bounced around on treadmills.

Ever since Michael Jackson “thrilled” us and Dire Straits wanted their “money for nothing & their chicks for free”, music videos have been integral to the music industry. The preferred medium may have changed from MTV to YouTube, but the objective of getting an artist’s music heard, has not. Quite simply, a strong music video can make or break a band, and arguably the best example of this is OK Go’s 2006 hit ‘Here It Goes Again’… You may know it better as ‘The Treadmill Song’. While many took three or four views of the amazing choreography to realize it, those 4 geeky looking guys were actually a musical group, and the song was rather catchy.

Those who took the extra step of listening to the band’s self-titled debut or follow-up ‘Oh No’ would have found a batch of inoffensive, simple & repetitive power-pop tracks that quickly got tiresome. So when the video of lead single ‘WTF?’ threw more bright colors on to a screen than one could possibly imagine, it would be easy to think that the funky Prince-inspired cut was just another misleading gimmick to suck people into listening to a third ho-hum release. To a certain extent they would be correct, since only the catchy ‘White Knuckles’ resembles it closely. However, many will be surprised at what eventuates. Power-pop, this is not!

Much of the change of direction found on ‘Of the Blue Colour of the Sky’ can be attributed to producer Dave Fridmann. The Mercury Rev bassist who has produced recent efforts from MGMT, Thursday and The Flaming Lips has clearly brought out the darker, more indie-leaning side of the quartet, with fuzzy bass-lines and more distinct drumming standing out behind Damian Kulash’s striking falsetto. Groove-driven sing-alongs ‘This Too Shall Pass’ and ‘All Is Not Lost’ come off as a lighter version of The Flaming Lips or even Arcade Fire, while allowing longer cuts ‘Needing/Getting’ and ‘Skyscrapers’ room to breathe with closing instrumental passages is surprisingly effective.

Unfortunately, there are still far too many missed steps for Ok Go to consider this album a success. These errors of judgment range from unmemorable to over-ambitious, and undoubtedly the most polarizing section of the LP will be its final five tracks. From the drum-less acoustic ballad that is ‘Last Leaf’ to the retro Beatles meets middle-eastern vibe presented on ‘Back from Kathmandu’, fans will be shocked by how anti-party this all is. There are even some hints of bold Radiohead aspirations amongst six minute closer ‘In the Glass’, and the unsettling ‘Before the Earth was Round’ which uses robotic vocoder-processed vocals to accentuate its lyrical theme.

With the apt opening lyric of “I’ve been trying to get my head around what the f**k is happening”, ‘Of the Blue Colour of the Sky’ presents an OK Go which is hardly recognizable from the power-pop band that bounced around on treadmills. Much less immediate than its predecessors and likely to fall in between audiences, the greater depth to be found here should make the album a grower. There is also a feeling that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, even if it is probably 5-10 minutes too long. There is still much to work on for OK Go, but at the very least, the progression on display this time around is rather admirable.

Recommended Tracks: WTF?, White Knuckles & Needing/Getting.



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user ratings (78)
Chart.
3.1
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
January 11th 2010


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

WTF is happening indeed. A band releases 2 poppy albums & then a more indie-leaning one and I prefer the latter!!! I think I’ve been Sputnikified. The next thing you know, I’ll be voting something like Animal Collective as the #1 album of the year!

Fugue
January 11th 2010


7353 Comments


What's wrong with indie?

The small part of this review that says "Recommended by reviewer: The Flaming Lips - Embryonic" means I will give this a shot.

Ponton
Emeritus
January 11th 2010


5803 Comments


Don't lose what makes you, you. Good review.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
January 11th 2010


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"What's wrong with indie?" It's elitist. LOL.

Ross, I expect you to come back berating me for my Flaming Lips comparison. There's a lot of Prince there as well.

I'll always be me, you.



Fugue
January 11th 2010


7353 Comments


Whole site's elitist. LOL.

Ponton
Emeritus
January 11th 2010


5803 Comments


I do seem to change a bit, don't I?

In all seriousness though, this review covers what I have heard/read about this so far. I listened to a few tracks when they first streamed the album.

adrianman
January 11th 2010


59 Comments


i dont know why i listened to it. theres was like one song i enjoyed. there rest kinda enraged me

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
January 11th 2010


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"Whole site's elitist. LOL." Oy... Speak for yourself.

Jared, as long as your changes are for the better mate.

As for the album, I was really taken aback by my first couple of listens. It's that different from their past 2. I mean, they always had an indie/geek rock influence a'la Weezer, but this is a totally different level. I didn't like this at all on 1st listen, but once it settles down it's not too bad.

Like I say in the review though, it's going to fall in between audiences. Pop fans won't find it catchy enough & indie fans (ie: elitists) will ignore them... just because.

Gyromania
January 11th 2010


15941 Comments


Average band; well written review; I < 3 Davey

Digging: Lantlos - .neon

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
January 11th 2010


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Ta Gyro. TBH, I agree with you on the "average band" comment. They have at least tried something different here.

And I got your reco on Ross' list. Thanks for that too.

DiceMan
January 11th 2010


7068 Comments


Never really liked these guys but that music vid with the treadmills was ballin. I'll stay far far away from this though.

EVedder27
January 11th 2010


6088 Comments


good work Davey. Remember one of the singles from this band back about 5 or 6 years ago, I think it was called "Get Over It."

LG
January 11th 2010


3049 Comments


"Here it goes again" Is/will always be a great catchy song, but this I found extremely boring. Nice review Davey and please don't change. I mean what other member of the staff would give "The black Parade" a 4.5?

AtavanHalen
January 11th 2010


17927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I actually quite like this band.

WTF? is incredible, both audio and visual.

Phil
January 11th 2010


1473 Comments


I remember that Treadmill song. It was funny and catchy. Seems like I'll give this one a miss.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
January 11th 2010


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

EVedder, I actually think 'Get Over It' is still their best song full stop.

Thanks LisbonGirls. And will all of you stopp worrying. I ain't changing. I was just surprised I liked this album more than OK Go's first 2. Didn't you mean to say "what other staff would give Hysteria a 5?"

Mstr. Young. How are you? Long time, no back & forth. I thought you might like 'WTF?'. You may like the rest of the album. Difficult to tell. Let me know if/when you listen to it.

No treadmills here philly... Just lots of bright colors.

Jips
January 11th 2010


1131 Comments


i think this got a 4.5 or 5 out of five in the rolling stone or ap or something... i believe you over them tho...

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
January 11th 2010


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

To quote the lead single: "WTF?"

I saw a rather positive review over at absolutepunk, but as much as I like that website, their reviews have progressively got more over-rated with each new staff member they have promoted.

I haven't seen many other reviews, but they are mixed. That's to be expected as (like I said) it will take people by surprise on first listens.

AtavanHalen
January 12th 2010


17927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm good, dude. Just really hot. It's about 30 here, I assume it's worse in Melb city.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
January 12th 2010


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah... 43 here yesterday (& my AC blew a fuse when we blacked out).

High 30's today, but the change has just come in. Thank f**k.



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