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ooooo, ooooooh oh yes!
Oh No - OK Go
Member Name: magenta23
Oh No - OK Go
Advantages: Some amazing songs bound to become favourites
Disadvantages: 9027KM - ??????
I really can't remember how I first discovered OK GO, all I can tell you is that is was long before THAT treadmill video and that they had been one of the most played bands in my music collection for many years. The band are from Chicago and were formed in 1998. Together band members Damian Kulash (vocals / guitar), Tim Nordwind (bass / vocals), Dan Konopka (drums) and Andy Ross who replaced Andy Duncan in 2005 (guitar /keyboards/vocals) have released four albums. In my opinion 'Oh No' is their best.
How would I describe OK GO to someone that had not heard them before? Well essentially I guess they are a rock band but have quite a poppy edge on many of their tracks. Their songs are mostly fun, occasionally dark and always with witty lyrics. They have a unique talent of getting a catchy melody into every song, album, B side or single. As I am really an album buyer and don't pay much attention to the charts or single releases, listening to the albums I couldn't really tell you which were singles, it certainly isn't obvious as their songs I think of the same high quality throughout. Indeed if you ask a thousand OK GO fans thier favourite track, there won't be a runaway winner.
*Review of download copy - no artwork*
OH NO opens with the loud, fun and slightly silly INVINCIBLE. It opens with a few drum beats and then the guitar kicks in before Damian sings in almost robotic style "When we finally come to destroy the earth we'll have to go to you first..." As the title suggests, a song about a person being well, Invincible. It's a powerful song with lots of going on which is really is not designed to be played on anything below full volume. A 'get in your head' chorus with lots of oh oh ohs. In my opinion, every good song needs a fair few ohs and oos. Also look up the great video for this - it features lots of random objects being blown up, something all boys and fans of Top Gear will love.
Following this, the song probably most people will know OK GO from...the one with the treadmill video. Possibly one of the greatest videos ever and doesn't everyone just want to have a go at that? HERE IT GOES AGAIN is another fast, lively slightly silly song. Not much to it, fairly repetitive but catchy and infectious. I love it.
A GOOD IDEA AT THE TIME is a bit slower to start but builds into another rocking chorus (with more oohs.) Some fantastic lyrics in this one. A highlight.
The mood of the album is brought down with OH LATELY IT'S SO QUIET. A beautiful, sweet, soft and in places eerie track. 'I'm wondering who's house are you haunting tonight?' Is the line we hear repeated in the chorus, and I'm not sure whether to take this literally or whether it's just a bitchy line to someone, whichever it is I still find this song has a little chill about it. Goes to show OK GO can be just as good when they aren't shouting out a big chorus.
Though they don't want us to forget this is what they like doing for too long. IT'S A DISASTER is a big track, and one of my favourite on the album. Frantic, loud, and again a little silly. 'It's a Disaster, It's a terrible mess.." Damian shouts at us. Wrong, it's brilliant song!
A MILLION WAYS again shows off the bands talent at writing brilliant witty lyrics. Whoever this song is about is "A Million Ways to be cruel" - don't piss off Kulash, he'll write a song about you! This is a much more understated song, no silliness here, the tone here is bitter. Though it works.
LET IT RAIN keeps the low key tone. A gorgeous song, the slightly robotic, distant voice we heard earlier on it the album is back. Lyrically and musically fantastic. Less oohs but a few Hallelujahs instead. Slightly odd!
Back with the big tunes with the very silly but amazing TELEVISION TELEVISION. My favourite OK GO track over all the albums. I have to issue a warning though this will get in your head big time and you back be walking around shouting Television Television, followed by woo hoo hoooo! - You won't be able to stop yourself. You've been warned. Stupidly silly. I adore it.
MAYBE THIS TIME is a lot slower and acts a bit like an antedote to Television Television. Quite a dark song. "You must have mastered this, the fragile art of a good excuse" Kulash almost whispers into the mic, another quite bitter song. I love how Ok Go go from being jump around silly to quite dark and spiteful, if TELEVISION TELEVISION is Dr Jekell, MAYBE THIS TIME is Mr Hyde.
The penultimate (or ultimate - I'll explain in a minute) song on the album is the simply amazing THE HOUSE WINS. I can't tell you why I love this but it really is a favourite. Quite a depressing song really 'You don't have to be alone to be lonely, you might as well give in' - it's a song about everything else winning so you might as well give up on everything. Strange how some of the most depressing songs can end up being favourites! Odd way to end all the craziness of the rest of the album. If you want to end OH NO on a high, play it backwards.
Following THE HOUSE WINS is the somewhat baffling 9027KM. A song with literally nothing to it. Maybe the band want us to reflect on what we've just heard. Maybe they are simply trying to annoy people who put their music on shuffle. Some research on the internet tells me that it's in fact a recording of Damian's girlfriend sleeping, but no one seems to know what the purpose of it is. Probably simply only to cause confusion, controversy and endless hits on their message boards. Oh I know I'm so cynical, it's actually probably 'art'. Either way, I think most of us can think of better ways to spend 34 minutes.
Overall, A simply fantastic album, albeit with and ending that with leave you scratching your head.
Summary: It's NOT a disaster