OK Go
Ok Go


3.5
great

Review

by SowingSeason EMERITUS
July 27th, 2010 | 20 replies | 7,202 views


Release Date: 2002 | Tracklist

Review Summary: OK Go’s debut is your typical party album, but it also provides some unexpected depth.

OK Go has quickly constructed a reputation for being light-hearted, fun, catchy, and even goofy. The music video for 2005’s “Here It Goes Again”, featuring multiple treadmills, made it clear that the band likes to have a little fun. While each album in their discography provides a few of these moments, they are easily the most abundant on OK Go’s self titled debut. From the humorous but angry “Don’t Ask Me” to the all-out ridiculousness of “C-C-C-Cinnamon Lips” OK Go is an entertaining ride from start to finish.

If there is one immediately identifiable weakness with OK Go it is that the record is extremely front-loaded; that is, the best songs are done before the middle of the album. “Get Over It” kicks things off by bursting the self-pitying bubble of its listeners, with verses of Your wounds are full of salt, everything's a stress and what's more, well it's all somebody's fault and Ain't it just a bitch? What a pain...Well it's all a crying shame. What left to do but complain? Better find someone to blame. While loved by fans and Madden enthusiasts everywhere (it was a key cog in the soundtrack of the 2003 release), the song actually spreads a good message. Girlfriend dump you? Didn’t get the grade you wanted on that exam? The advice OK Go gives you is to get up, rub some dirt on it, and focus on what can be done. Not bad for an alternative pop-rock band that made a mock-serious “how to become a table tennis champion” video. “Don’t Ask Me” is by far the catchiest of the twelve songs, with heavy synth, a drum beat that really pops, and Damian Kulash’s sarcasm-drowned vocals. “You’re So Damn Hot” and “What to Do” continue the album in the same vein; joking and borderline-serious tunes that are just meant to be an easy, memorable listen. “What to Do”, in particular, sets itself apart from some of the album’s other popular songs with a more relaxed approach and a chorus featuring a rather chilled-out vibe: What to do? Sweetheart, you'll find mediocre people do exceptional things all the time.

As I previously mentioned, the album does have times where it treads the line between “just amusing” and “actually meaningful”. “Return” is one of those instances, with lyrics that seem to suggest the tragic death of somebody who was too young to go: You were supposed to grow old. The chorus repeats the line several times, with increasing intensity and anguish in Kulash’s voice with each successive reiteration. The lyrics also contain a sad, telling admission in the line, “the worst of it now: I can't remember your face.” This line refers to how we tend to lose a mental image of people who pass away, at least to a partial extent. No matter how close the person may have been to your heart, it is an inescapable facet of human memory, and one that Kulash laments on in several parts of “Return.” Not all listeners will read that deeply into each song, but for those who do, there are emotional diamond-in-the-rough moments to be found.

For the most part, however, OK Go is an album that chugs along with the fun-all-the-time/party theme that you would expect from the band. Although the quality of the songs dies off significantly in the latter half, “C-C-C-Cinnamon Lips” is a prime example of a late album find. With a heavily synthesized introduction and absurd lyrics along the same lines as the title, the song harks back to the pysch-pop formulas popular in the 1960’s. “Hello My Treacherous Friends” is another intriguing track, as it manages to really separate itself musically and structurally from the other eleven songs. Kulash’s vocals are more hushed and conversational, and the song features a brief but uncharacteristic guitar solo towards the end. Unfortunately, the majority of the final 6-8 songs get the filler tag, as they are not catchy enough to be memorable and are not interesting enough to warrant repeat listens.

In the end, OK Go’s debut of the same name is a strong introduction for the band. Every song they present here is upbeat (even the ones with more depressing meanings) and there are plenty of big hits to anchor the album in your library. It may not be highly technical and it certainly isn’t an instrumental wonder, but OK Go has just the right blend of accessibility, catchiness, and underlying meaning to make you want to come back for more.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
SowingSeason
Emeritus
July 27th 2010



14506 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I couldn't believe that this didn't have any reviews; the album is really freaking fun to listen to.

I don't think this is the start of a discography, I'm kind of just going to float around and write random reviews until i get really inspired to do another one.

tiesthatbind
July 27th 2010



7360 Comments


Nice review. I only know a few of the obvious singles from these guys, but they're pretty solid.

bloc
July 27th 2010



34489 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

HEY!

GET GET GET GET GET OVER IT


Digging: Gamma Ray - Empire of the Undead

Lucid
Contributing Reviewer
July 27th 2010



6956 Comments


Album cover looks like the cover of Dance Gavin Dance's Happiness. Must be the angle.

Digging: Wild Beasts - Present Tense

bailar11
July 27th 2010



2433 Comments


^ about to post the same thing

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
July 27th 2010



30291 Comments


It looks better now

Digging: L'Orange - The Orchid Days

SowingSeason
Emeritus
July 27th 2010



14506 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

thanks ties, deviant

and i share your enthusiasm bloc, lol

Tits McGee
July 27th 2010



1876 Comments


band is such a guilty pleasure for me


Comatorium.
July 27th 2010



4002 Comments


Album cover looks like the cover of Dance Gavin Dance's Happiness. Must be the angle.


was gonna say that too

SowingSeason
Emeritus
July 27th 2010



14506 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

lol i just compared the two album covers. pretty ridiculously close.

Apollo
July 28th 2010



10083 Comments


great review but I fucking hate this band with a passion. They sound so vapid.

Apollo
July 28th 2010



10083 Comments


first to pos too

SowingSeason
Emeritus
July 28th 2010



14506 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

thanks apollo! appreciate it as always

but c'mon, vapid? i agree on their newer cd but i think this one is pretty lively

Apollo
July 28th 2010



10083 Comments


That's the word I would use dude, it just sounds contrived, vapid etc...

SowingSeason
Emeritus
July 28th 2010



14506 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Fair enough, I just never thought of them that way.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
April 30th 2011



20800 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

The debut self-titled LP by Chicago quartet OK Go is full of competent, accessible & relatively straight-forward power-pop, with a healthy dose of keys added to the mix. The album begins well due to the (Weezer-like) energetic toe-tapping melodies of its first 4 tracks. Unfortunately, it all gets very tiresome come the end of this 41 minute release, as slower cuts are bland & the group trip themselves up attempting to be too clever lyrically. There is a hint of catchiness here & there, but even then there isn't anything very memorable. Passable, but nothing more. Recommended Tracks: Get Over It, Don't Ask Me & What To Do.

Adabelle
May 26th 2011



4155 Comments


This is comin' out fo' summer.

Sanders
May 26th 2011



2323 Comments


Get Over It is a great tune.

Adabelle
May 26th 2011



4155 Comments


Don't Ask Me is a greater tune.

MeatSalad
March 18th 2012



13379 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

'Lotta fool scumbags.



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