Of The Blue Colour Of The Sky review by OK Go

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  • Released: Jan 12, 2010
  • Sound: 7
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 7 Good
  • Users' score: 7.9 (29 votes)
OK Go: Of The Blue Colour Of The Sky
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Sound — 7
Chicago-based quartet OK Go have changed a great deal about their music from their previous record Oh No to their latest recording Of The Blue Colour Of The Sky. The new record is less raw and more club oriented. The songs have a power pop vitality reminiscent of Hellogoodbye with streaks of glam rock sparks corked by splashing club beats that form a type of Prince/Daft Punk party mix. The swirling sonic masses produced by keyboardist/guitarist Andy Ross are roped in coils of funky club beats by bassist Tim Nordwind and drummer Dan Konopka, as vocalist Damian Kulash mounts the electro-fused grooves demonstrating a familiarity that is jolting like he was weaned on this music since childhood. Tracks like This Too Shall Pass and All Is Not Lost are abound with sonic spires, trippy piping, shoegazy atmospherics, and chiming percussions. The shimmery glaze of Needing/Getting is coaled in whipping sonic effects that are welded to throbbing club beats and wrapped in eerie guitar distortions through the outro of the track. Kulash's falsettos in WTF? press against the chunky synth-textured guitars forming taut squeezes and ridges as the band skewers the R&B tunage harking of vintage Prince with pop-punk spears. The bands track Skyscrapers is laden with marching percussive strikes but Kulash's flexing falsettos are drawn out far too long. The album traverses into a plume of neo-disco synthy effects and flashing rattles in White Knuckles reflective of Prince when he was with his band The Revolution. The music may feel new to OK Go but the songs sound like they came from the archives of 80s new wave or 90s acid-pop/psychedelic rock. There is so much in OK Go's new songs that sound like they have been rehashed from the obscure tracks of marginally known bands in the past like the Dandy Warhols and Ambulance LTD, particularly in the dance mix of End Love. The track Before The Earth Was Round has a Hot Chip-slant in its idiosyncratic twists which adjusts to a heavy bass line threading through I Want You So Bad I Cant Breathe and strands of cryptic echoes in the undertow of Back From Kathmandu projecting a daunting feel through the tune. The songs sound like music that the band may have grown up with rather than music that reflects their own ideas. For instance, the infliction of orchestral gales along While You Were Asleep and the moaning chimes cabling In The Glass make these songs overly processed, but the folksy sonnet Last Leaf is an exception to this rule. The song's calming strokes in the acoustic guitar and Kulash's natural voicing are breathy and lush without over doing it. Oftentimes, the songs are loaded with too much artificial fillers but when the band turns to a natural voicing like in Last Leaf, it actually feels more pleasant and palatable.

Lyrics — 7
Many times Kulash's singing is over the top and too dramatized to pick up the lyrics which takes away from the words, but when he uses his natural voicing, the lyrics become meaningful like in Last Leaf when he tells, If you should be the last autumn leaf hanging from the tree / I'll still be here, waiting on the breeze to bring you down to me / And if it takes forever / Forever it'll be. Other times, the lyrics are less obvious and more symbolic like in Skyscrapers as Kulash beckons, Skyscrapers, please forgive me / I didn't mean a word I said / Skyscrapers, I was just tangled up in my own head / And somehow in all the madness / I thought that I was seeing straight.. So skyscrapers please forgive me / I stand here a penitent man / Oh skyscrapers, I'll never look down again, again / Cuz I guess all I've ever known was standing right before my eyes. The lyrics are poetic and personalized and relate to people on a metaphorical level.

Overall Impression — 7
OK Go's new album Of The Blue Colour Of The Sky is not supplied with necessarily new material but the music seems familiar to the band. Sometimes the tracks end up too gaudy, but when the bands music has a simplistic cutting, the foursome really sound their best. OK Go sound like they have discovered their limitations much like The Killers and the Kaiser Chiefs, but they will always have their hit songs Here It Goes Again and A Million Ways to fall back on for as long as OK Go keep going.

7 comments sorted by best / new / date

    MeeMeesiko
    @Hungry_Hameds: OK Go are not "radio-friendly rockers." You are referring purely to the 5 or 6 tracks that appeared on both OK Go and Oh No that had a rock sound. OK Go is, at their heart, a dance band. This album does not have "Invincible" on it. It has what they love and what they want to play. It will not appeal to those people who know only "Do What You Want" and "Here it Goes Again." This will appeal to those fans who would rather listen to "Lately It's So Quiet" or "Hello My Treacherous Friends." It's not 'different,' but it's new. It's them trying new sounds that they've had established for almost a decade, but they're now making those sounds bigger and cleaner than before. It works. I personally love the new album. (I got it a day early with a signed booklet. ) But really, I'm glad that they're playing what they want to rather than having so much pressure from fans of their rock sound. You still have "Oh No." Go listen to that if you don't like this. You've got another 4 or 5 year wait in front of you for a new album. So you'll have to wait it out.
    Hungry_Hameds
    not a lot of mention of riff driven rock but it still 'seems familiar to the band'? I'm a little confused... OKGO arent a ground breaking, experimental band, they're radio friendly rockers, great ones, I hope when I get this I'm not left saying 'WHY???'
    oncenfutureidio
    I just bought and listened to this cd. The material is new and its back to OK Go's roots. This is the type of music they always make, people aren't fans of it because it doesn't sound like "Here It Goes Again". Ok Go is a great band and this cd is very good and very well done. Without a doubt worth the wait since Oh No.
    PRSweet
    Previously I'd only heard "Here it goes again" by Ok Go, but I decided to give this album a try after it was suggested to me by a friend. I really really like it. It doesn't sound like any thing else I've heard from them (although I haven't heard much), but I'm really enjoying it. I would have given it an 8.5 rating.
    dollyDagger
    its my birthday. lets have a party. happy birthday to me. i borrowerd their album 'Oh No' from the library last week. havn't listened to it yet. sounds good from what ive heard
    PRSweet
    I previously had only heard "Here it goes again" by OK Go, and I liked it. The new album was suggested to me by a friend and upon listening to it I have to say I really really like it. It does sound much different from their other stuff I've heard and yes it does remind me of old Prince, but I like bands that test their limits and (I admit) I kind of like Prince. I would have given this album a solid 8 maybe an 8.5.
    samuraimusaki
    PRSweet wrote: I previously had only heard "Here it goes again" by OK Go, and I liked it. The new album was suggested to me by a friend and upon listening to it I have to say I really really like it. It does sound much different from their other stuff I've heard and yes it does remind me of old Prince, but I like bands that test their limits and (I admit) I kind of like Prince. I would have given this album a solid 8 maybe an 8.5.
    This was the same for me. I didn't know what to expect, and then I was really surprised. It's a very nice album for if you just want something mellow. I'm a Jack White style guitarist/music lover, but this stuff is good for if you want something quiet but can't be bothered with Colplay.