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I have a terrible, unashamed affection for this album. For me, it achieves that mystical status that some albums manage - where listening to it evokes memories so strong and real that I feel it is my 16th birthday again (I recieved as a gift on that day).
The album itself is the purest of pop rock. Insanely catchy choruses, riffs...even the drum beats seem to stand out as just another great element in 13 brilliant songs. The first track of the album was also Ok Go's debut single, Get Over It. Here, they sync up the wonderfully simple drum beat to the staccato guitar chords to make each strum into a punch. The lyrics are witty, but more importantly, hold a cattiness that transcends them from the more beige colours of pop rock band. "Aren't you such a catch? Such a prize? Got a body like a battle axe". There is also a magnificent synthy keyboard which is blessed with the occasional solo - adding an ironic slice of cheese on top of the already very poppy feel.
The reason I describe the first song in such detail is that this is the formula for the rest of the album. Each element continues in this way. This is not repetitive, however, as it merely cements their unique sound. The melodies are catchy and different enough to hold anyone through multiple listens. I just hope their wonderful dancing doesn't eclipse their brilliant songs too much.
This is an album I keep coming back to. Realeased in 2003, it's one that's hard to get bored of. I think the real triumph of this album is the lyrics, bitchy and funny, they really have a sing along quality. Kind of camp in a way!!
OK GO are not a band that have made huge waves in the UK but tey do have a following of loyal fans who love their unusual pop rock style.
The most known song on this album I guess is Get Over It, a big song that opens the album and sets the amusing bitchy tone of the lyrics again top tunes that are catchy and listenable.
Followed up but the great Don't Ask Me, a great tune that captures that mood when you just can't be bothered to make polite coversation with people. All, the songs are like this, unusual subjects, not all love and loss like so many albums but about little things everyone can relate to.
The cover art is great to, and a real similarity to Blur's greatest hits pop art portraits.
Not too long ago, there was a great song on the music channels by a band called OK Go. It came very close to making the Top 20 in the UK charts and then
the band seemingly vanished. Sure, there was a brief use of one of their songs in the film Wimbledon, but no other signs. Were they destined to be nothing more than one hit wonders?
It hardly seems fair. There have been quite a few performances recently from bands that have deserved to be one hit wonders, or even one less than that, who somehow managed to get a second album released. Something Corporate were allowed to follow up Punk Rock Princess with If You See Jordan. If the whiny voiced InMe and the stupidly haired Toploader can get a second single release, why not OK Go, whose first didnt assault our eardrums anywhere near as badly as theirs did.
Album opener Get Over It is the song mentioned above. Theres a driving, indie sounding guitar riff, overlaying a drum beat that sounds very much like its been borrowed from Queens We Will Rock You and some very Def Leppard sounding backing vocals towards the end. Mostly, though, its an indie edged tune, although with some very stadium rock sounding Heys in the chorus, which should help this one be a live favourite and some quirky lyrics that make it worth listening to.
Theres a much more up-tempo, upbeat and jaunty sound to Dont Ask Me, with a heavy synthesiser influence that makes them sound like a happier, and slightly heavier, version of Toploader. Its mostly a bouncy pop song with a slightly rock edge, which brings to mind They Might Be Giants or a less accomplished Barenaked Ladies.
The handclaps that open Youre So Damn Hot sound just like a watered down version of those on Electric Fives Gay Bar. Its quite a bouncy little indie-rock tune, although with the inclusion of an accordion that makes it sound like a Weird Al Yankovic polka mix during the chorus. Its an enjoyable enough little tune for all that, though.
What To Do is a track that was featured briefly in the film Wimbledon, OK Gos only noteworthy release in recent years. The lyrics suggest it would fit in perfectly with the story of that film. The song itself is a mid-tempo indie-pop track, with a slightly summery feel that makes it sound like a harder edged version of The Thrills.
The intro to 1000 Miles Per Hour reminds me of a tune I cant quite put my finger on right now. This is a slower tempo, almost straight pop ballad, with a slight indie-rock edge. The organ keeps the summery vibe going on and its another I could see The Thrills having done.
Shortly Before the End is definitely an indie influenced track. There is a hint of Oasis about it, although in a much weakened version to what youd expect from them.
Theres a much rockier feel to Return, but theres still a heavy Oasis style influence to the music, which are ruined by a weak vocals. Once the harmonies come into the chorus, the track seems part way between Oasis and a stadium rock track and works effectively as neither.
Theres a much more laid back groove to Theres a Fire, with the bass line sounding a little like a slowed down version of the one from Michelle Branchs If Only She Knew. Sadly the vocals arent as funky and the song descends into a bit of a mess, not seeming sure whether it wants to be a funk number or an indie pop song.
Apart from having one of the most pointless titles going, C-C-C-Cinnamon Lips is quite possibly one of the more pointless songs going. I think theyre possibly aiming for a kind of Sergeant Pepper era Beatles sound to the music, but the falsetto vocal is simply awful and musically, its just a bit of mish-mash. This is the kind of song the Skip button was invented for.
Fortunately, The Fix is In is a lot better. Its again got the kind of summery pop vibe that The Thrills made their own a couple of years ago and its a jaunty, bouncy pop tune.
The title to Hello, My Treacherous Friends always makes me think of They Might Be Giants Your Racist Friend, from 1990s Flood album. Its a darker tune than that one was, theres a quirkiness to the lyrics that again points to a They Might Be Giants influence, but its largely a pretty non-descript dark pop tune and doesnt really go anywhere.
I keep thinking the guitar riff that opens Bye Bye Baby could have been a Def Leppard riff, but the rest of the song isnt really that good. Its another bouncy jaunty heavy pop tune, much like many that have gone before, which fails to end the album on a positive note.
On hearing Get Over It by itself, it seems impossible to see how a band who could produce something that good could fail to repeat it. After listening to the album, you wonder how they were ever allowed to make another album, with the follow up due for release in July 2005.
Although I would normally condemn an album with a running time of only 40 minutes as bad value, in this case it comes as something of a relief. There are a few decent moments scattered among the 40 here and there, but they tend to be the exception rather than the rule.
OK Go cite the indie bands of Manchester, such as the Inspiral Carpets and the Charlatans as an influence and you can hear that in a number of songs. They Might Be Giants selected the band to support them on your and you can hear hints of their sound in here as well. There is a summery, bouncy vibe in a lot of places that the Thrills did so well, but even this isnt a sound that is replicated throughout the whole of the album, although it is perhaps the most obvious influence here.
Fans of indie influenced pop music, or heavier edged pop music may enjoy parts of this, but by no means all. The price of £9.99 from Amazon and play.com is way too much to be paying for an album of such questionable quality, as is the £3.44 from the Amazon Marketplace. Id even only recommend paying the 99p you could the album form on eBay if youre already a fan of one of the songs and you cant find it to download legally, as its about the same price as buying one song and theres only likely to be two or three youll enjoy here.
If nothing else and there isnt much else I appreciate this album for the lesson it taught me. That lesson being to stop buying albums on the strength of one single. Ive been mostly lucky in doing that recently, but my luck deserted me this time.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Get Over It
2 Don't Ask Me
3 You're So Damn Hot
4 What To Do
5 1000 Miles Per Hour
6 Shortly Before The End
8 There's A Fire
9 C C C Cinnamon Lips
10 Fix Is In
11 Hello My Treacherous Friends
12 Bye Bye Baby