OK Go - Of The Blue Colour Of The Sky

OK Go are probably music’s greatest oxymoron: the most famous unknown band around. The original upload of their infamous treadmill video for ‘Here It Goes Again’ has been viewed over 48 million times on You Tube and yet if album sales are to be believed, you’d be hard pushed to find a person who owns their second album, Oh No, which features the track. It’s a massive shame considering that Oh No is an impressively assured rock album and ‘Here It Goes Again’ is one of several catchy tracks. A lack of commercial success hasn’t stopped OK Go though and four years after the release of Oh No, they have returned with Of The Blue Colour Of The Sky which, bizarre title aside, is a fabulously funky affair.

The album sees the band focus on their funkier side, with a massive helping of influence from Prince, and the results are generally brilliant. Opening track ‘WTF?’ sets the tone for the album with a combination of distortion and heavy bass hooks; a combination which is put to even better use later on with the superb ‘White Knuckles’ which has a main hook that is impossible not to dance to.

However even these tracks are surpassed by the flawless ‘This Too Shall Pass’ which is arguably one of the finest tracks that OK Go have produced. From its punchy opening through to its rabble rousing final refrain, the track is just pure musical perfection; even the final repeated lyrics (“Let it go, this too shall pass”), unashamedly focussed on a live setting, will provoke a one person sing along whether you are in the privacy of your own home or in a public place. Put simply, it’s funking magnificent.

There are also a few tracks on the album that, while not perfect, are still an enjoyable listen. ‘Needing/Getting’ could have been such a great track about a love lost – “It don’t get much dumber than trying to forget a girl when you love her” – but it goes on for about a minute too long during its outro and leaves you wondering when it’ll end instead of wanting to play it again. ‘While You Were Asleep’ treads a more psychedelic line but you get the feeling that it would work better just as an instrumental as lead singer Damian Kulash’s vocals are so whispery that they interrupt the track rather than add to it as you struggle to hear what he’s singing.

It’s far from a flawless album though and most of the misfires tend to come in the latter half of the album as the band get more experimental. One such misfire is ‘Before The Earth Was Round’ where the vocals are given a robotic edge and it distracts more than it entertains meaning it becomes an eminently missable track. However, given the experimental nature of the track, it’s fair to say that it could create a more positive vibe for someone else – one man’s rubbish is another one’s gold as they say.

One overall problem with the album though is the tempo. All too often, the tracks tread the same familiar tempo and it can become a monotonous listen but often the quality of the tracks prevails. The main issue is that the tracks with similar tempos occur consecutively, especially in the opening half of the album, and perhaps a bit of playing around with the track listing could have alleviated this problem by putting a slow effort in between the heavy bass-led funk rock tracks. This is done effectively later on with ‘Last Leaf’, a beautiful acoustic-led track which shocks you in its difference from anything else on the album before it awes you. Essentially it means the album is better off played either on random or in parts, rather than as one continuous listen.

That being said, the album is still an absorbing listen not only for its superb stand out tracks but also for its experimental funk nature. A lack of imagination is certainly something you can't accuse OK Go of and to echo Damian’s vocals on lead single 'WTF?' – I don’t know what to tell you, there’s just this thing about OK Go.

Overall

7

out of 10

Last updated: 18/04/2018 17:38:19

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