Tuesday, September 21, 2010

White Knuckles

Song: White Knuckles
Artist: Ok Go
Album: Of the Blue Colour of the Sky

It's hard not to think, once you have a music video that blows up like "Here it Goes Again" (and to a lesser degree "A Million Ways") that a "band" is a bit gimmicky and the music has become secondary.  So, it was with that silly self-created notion that I listened initially to Ok Go's third album, "Of the Blue Colour of the Sky," the follow up to their hit sophomore album "Oh No."  But what I forgot, was that despite when I heard "Here it Goes Again," and thinking of treadmills, what you also hear is a killer pop song.  So after one casual listen to "Of the Blue," I shrugged my shoulders and put it away.  Well, I thought to myself... they better come up with some killer videos.

But even then I only half paid attention... as the video for second single "This Too Shall Pass" was... ok. Again... usually you compare singles to singles before... not the videos.  Was the music secondary?  But my friend Cicely was digging the album (as well as their videos) and I gave the album a better listen only to find it pretty bloody awesome.  It's a Prince throwback by a bunch of white guys that none-he-less exude such a winning charm... it's hard not to resist.  Consider me officially won-over by their latest video "White Knuckles" (see below) but also because I LOVE this song... a killer chorus, white boy funk with silly pep-rally hooks.  Charm to spare.

But the album on a whole is also really pretty great, and I think overshadowed by their (yes gimmicky) but again totally charming music videos.  Producer Dave Fridmann, who also produced MGMT's "Oracular Spectacular," and The Flaming Lips "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots," helps the band fully realize a more upbeat dance vibe that also happens to be mixed with a lot of melancholy, lovelorn lyrics about love lost and emotional yearning.  From the great singles to the album tracks... give this one a chance.

But I also need to mention these music videos, the three most notable are below in reverse-release order.  "White Knuckles" is another one-shot wonder... I just can't imagine that some of it is not special effects but regardless, it is so cute and charming ad keeps upping the ante in terms of "WTF are they gunna do next?!?!" Do yourself a favor and check it out.

The video for "End Love" is another technical wonder, which by end you're sort of exhausted with the thought of how long the whole thing took.  It becomes clear, with a look at ANY of their videos, that these guys are nothing but dedicated to what they're doing.  This is also evident in the second video version for "This Too Shall Pass" (not sure why they did a second) which uses a jaw-dropping Rube Goldberg setup that really can't be explained.  Just go watch below.  And you might want to go to the YouTube page for each individual video and watch in HD... they're gorgeous.

And if you haven't picked up this album yet... you better go, ok?


White Knuckles

End Love

This Too Shall Pass

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