Let’s set one thing out; a lot of people are probably going to like ‘Of The Blue Colour Of The Sky” if they are into US indie. I don’t like this album much at all, despite being reasonably well aquainted with the US Indie scene. OK Go fall into the seemingly universal trap of the end of the noughties that it’s cool to replace half of your instruments with synths, out the rest through distortion effects and call it a day. The trouble is that it’s now 2010, it’s time for something new. Sure, they’re unlucky in their label’s release schedule, but I’ve got to take the album as I get it, and the album I get is 2009 US indie rock by numbers.
You see, it’s probably my fault for not being as musically well rounded as I like to think I am, but my entire knowledge of OK Go comes from the viral sensation that was their video to “Here It Goes Again”. That song was pop rock joy. It was simple, clean and catchy. The guitars sounded like guitars, the drums like drums, the bass moved around pleasantly and the call and response harmonised vocals were a joy to hear and sing along to. It even had what could be called, admittedly at a stretch, a guitar solo. This new album has none of that, and to be honest, I’m rather disappointed.
It opens with a collection of computer-generated distortion that is a little irritating to listen to, putting the album off to a bad start with “WTF?”. The opening track and lead single has a great video, just like “Here It Goes Again”. However, it’s not catchy in the slightest. In fact, few of these songs are. “This Too Shall Pass” got me singing along with the chorus, but that’s just because it is incredibly simple and I will sing along to most things. I just really don’t enjoy the fact that OK Go have lost all their rock edge. This is a pop album, hiding behind the guise of US indie, and through this, it manages to be both dull and a little irritating for me. Everything is put through effects, making it sound far too overproduced, and by losing the rock edge, you end up with the blandness of pop. It doesn’t help that the US indie scene is a little too dull and cerebral at times anyway, and so by aping that, they lose a lot of the dance around fun they used to have.
There’s just something about this album that gets on my nerves; I can’t recommend it at all. Sure, check out the visually impressive video for “WTF?” but a great video can’t really make a good song. Actually, that’s a lie. Lady GaGa’s Paparazzi would be nothing without the video, but she has the inconceivable GaGa factor of being able to make anything catchy, even if it’s terrible. OK Go don’t have the GaGa factor. They tried adding extra weird moments to their songs. It ruined them.
This Too Shall Pass