Ok GoOf the Blue Colour of the SkyBy Randy LoBasso
Since their inception, Chicago-gone Hollywood indie poppers have made their share of enemies. Indie standard bearers pegged the band sellouts before they'd recorded a single album due to their initial high-res glossy-laden web presence. Their MTV-crazed music video for "Here It Goes Again", which featured the band on competing treadmills won the group a music video Grammy in 2007 and mention on VH1's Best Year Ever (though admittedly, if you're saying an entire year kicks ass because of a music video, the year couldn't have been very good). The single hit #38 on Billboard and is their only to place on the Top 100 chart.
Pitchfork has chastised the band around every corner, with one reviewer even getting pissed about the band recording their albums in "spiffy workplaces" and claiming "Ok Go have trust funds." At one point, this same reviewer mocks the foursome for playing with the "shiniest gear."
Here's the problem with all that: Ok Go is pretty good, and their latest release Of The Blue Colour of the Sky proves it. Their gear isn't beaten up, but their songs can shift from hard indie rock to MJ-inspired pop without a seem. Songs like "White Knuckles" and "End Rock" take on a synth-rock tone with drum machine beats and studio sounds that'd be hard to replicate live.
Another group would have made these somewhat awkward transitions (like the sudden sullen piano at the 1:45 mark of "This Too Shall Pass"), well, awkward. But the group's range and overall poppy confidence in Of The Blue Colour of the Sky's switches hit the cork whereas another band may have left a tiny black hole in the white wall. And yeah, subconsciously that may have as much to do with the music as the image.
Ok Go have never made it a secret that they're in this business for the business. The broad pop and rock reach in Of The Blue Colour Of The Sky establishes these guys as worthy of their attention and we see no reason to shun them for any reason besides the product they're putting out.