Ok Go – Of The Blue Color Of The Sky

(Published on News Hit 19/4/10)

Ok Go’s album Of The Blue Colour Of The Sky does not make a strong impression on first listen. There are a few tracks which obviously stand out, but the rest of the songs on the album are quite forgettable in comparison. While none of the songs are terrible, they are simply all right at best.

Ok Go have brought us some fantastic singles in the past, including ‘Get Over It’, ‘A Million Ways’, ‘Invincible’, and ‘Here It Goes Again’, and a couple of singles from Of The Blue Colour Of The Sky are on the same par: ‘WTF?’ and ‘This Too Shall Pass’. They also boast unique music videos which have gone viral on YouTube: the treadmill dance routine video for ‘Here It Goes Again’, the backyard dance routine for ‘A Million Ways’, and now there is the impressive RGM version video of ‘This Too Shall Pass’.

‘WTF?’ — with its 5/4 time signature, heavy distortion, selective use of instrumentation, and singer Damian Koulash’s almost-sleazy falsetto — sees the group moving away from its older, boppier sound and is a great opener to the album. It sets the scene in terms of what to expect in terms of sound and genre, but also raises the audience’s expectations which are not quite met in the end.

‘This Too Shall Pass’ has a marching-band feel (see original video, which was filmed as a live performance; the album version of the song is not used), and is enhanced by crashing cymbals, a brass section, and constant and sudden shifts in dynamics. The ending is quite grand, with all the instruments coming together in a final surge of noise, with overlapping vocal lines and a back-up choir.

The least enjoyable tracks on the album are repetitive and unexciting, and tend to drag on as a result. A couple of examples are ‘I Want You So Bad’ and ‘Before The Earth Was Round’. The latter features vocals which are run through a vocoder-effect, which is novel at the beginning but eventually becomes an annoying distraction from the other aspects of the song.

To compare it with Ok Go’s previous albums (OK Go and Oh No), Of The Blue Colour Of The Sky is less catchy, more experimental, and uses more electronic effects. The group’s sound has developed into something slightly different, but it is a big enough change to cause some listeners to become nostalgic for the guitar-driven power pop they were used to hearing from Ok Go. Songs on the album such as ‘WTF?’ and ‘This Too Shall Pass’ are well-crafted gems with strong commercial appeal, but unfortunately the remainder of the album does not live up to this standard.

6/10

Label: Paracadute Recordings

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