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Album review: OK Go, "Of the Blue Colour of the Sky"


By Allison Stewart

You know them best for their '06 hit, "Here It Goes Again," the video of which was viewed umpteen million times on YouTube.

But OK Go, whose slight, likable new disc, "Of the Blue Colour of the Sky" drops today, is more like a shape-shifting version of Weezer: It's a goofy, endearing pop band whose sound -- whose very existence -- evokes nostalgia for the late '90s, when poppy and ingratiating and well-dressed bands like OK Go used to be called postmodern.

("A new emphasis on white-boy funk," after the jump.)

Perhaps sensing that it just wasn't made for these times, OK Go has always seemed alarmingly malleable, constantly updating its sound in ways that can feel more opportunistic than sincere. "Sky" is a typically freewheeling, loose-limbed disc that does just about every possible thing -- pop, disco, soul, ballads -- and does most of it well.

There's a new emphasis on white-boy funk that's obviously meant to recall Prince but really sounds more like people trying to sound like Prince. The funk tracks (like the outrageously good "White Knuckles") are distortion-heavy and excessively tweaked, courtesy of MGMT producer Dave Fridmann, and Damian Kulash's exaggerated falsetto is engineered for ironic distance (also a late-'90s affectation). For all its charms, "Sky" feels more inconsequential than it should; for the first time, OK Go's willingness to try anything makes it seem less like a band in search of musical adventure, and more like a band in search of a hit.

Recommended tracks: "Needing/Getting," "White Knuckles"

By David Malitz  |  January 12, 2010; 7:45 AM ET
Categories:  Quick spins  | Tags: OK Go  
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Next: Singles file: Justin Vernon, Mariah f. Nicki Minaj, Quasi, Tony Yayo

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