OK Go (Capitol)

They’re a pleasing mix of music that makes you feel good, music that makes you want to dance, music that makes you laugh, and music that makes you think.

The truth is, before the end of the year, you will have heard of OK Go. You will have heard their music. You will have seen their faces. You will, in all probability, like them. So go ahead, beat the curve, buy the album and learn all the words now, before all your friends.

Seriously, there’s already been a lot of hype surrounding this release—and the album just came out September 17. Radio stations picked up the first single, “Get Over it,” mid-summer (a self-described “stadium anthem” by lead singer Damian Kulash, which made—in its prereleased form—Entertainment Weekly’s top 10 list of best summer songs); posters went up in all the record stores in August; there have been countless reviews and write-ups…and the deluge has just begun. We here at Playback St. Louis are happy to join the bandwagon, as we find them irresistible. state, mind you—

In a nutshell, the band’s songs are catchy as all hell. They’re a pleasing mix of music that makes you feel good, music that makes you want to dance, music that makes you laugh, and music that makes you think. “Don’t Ask Me” is a sunshiny song about a guy chastising an ex- for her false manner. “You’re So Damn Hot” falls definitely into the “catchy” category but not so much into the “makes you think” bin. It’s danceable, with a clever guitar riff that stands alone, and cheeky lines such as, “So now you’re headed to your car/You say it’s dinner with your sister, sweetie/But darling look at how you’re dressed/Your best suggests another kind of guest.”

“What to do” highlights Kulash’s beautiful falsetto; musically, it hearkens back to an easier time, when things were slower and simpler. It also has one of the most perfect lines ever: “Sweetheart, you’ll find mediocre people do exceptional things all the time.” “1000 Miles an Hour” is an old-fashioned, sweet, and gentle song of dreams and escape. The next two songs, “Shortly Before the End” and “Return,” slow down the album a bit—possibly a bit too much. (The lyrics to “Return,” though, are heartbreaking, obviously about the death of a friend, ending with: “You were supposed to grow old/Reckless, unfrightened, and old/you were supposed to grow old/You were supposed to return.”)

Then, though, is my absolute favorite track on the album (followed by my absolute least favorite, the saccharine-sweet “C-C-C-Cinnamon Lips”), “There’s a Fire.” It resembles The Cure’s “Close to Me” in its peppiness, The Smiths’ “Stop Me if You’ve Heard This One Before” in its cattiness, and features some amazingly inventive and commendable vocal skills by Kulash. Another killer song is “The Fix Is In,” with a bop-bouncy beat and brilliant lines, including, “When we got to Boston, we knew we’d missed a turn./No one back in traffic school had told us there are signs that can’t be learned.” The final two tracks, “Hello My Treacherous Friends” and “Bye Bye Baby,” deserve comment, as well, the former for its slow-starting experimentation and crescendos and the latter for being not just another farewell song to a female—this one’s about Kulash’s cat who left home, only to be spotted later in a television commercial for cat food (or so he reports).

OK Go’s self-titled debut CD is one that is certain to receive many spins, in my home and all over the country. Don’t fight it; just accept that they’re fun and they’re good and listen to them. Are you ready, then, to visit the store and pick up your copy? OK, go.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply