- OK Go
- Beyond the Weekly
- OK Go
Three albums in, and geek-chic pop chameleons OK Go have yet to surpass the blessing/curse bestowed by a couple of universally viewed, no-budget music videos that prized choreography over content. Not much changes with this calculated departure from the summer-rock sing-alongs of earlier efforts, a concept album based on a quasi-scientific book from the 1870s.
The underlying formula at work is actually more comprehensible: Start with ubiquitous falsettos and rampant funk a la Prince’s back catalog (synth-drenched opener “WTF?”, single-minded mantra “I Want You So Bad I Can’t Breathe”) and add theatrical organs, chimes and psychedelic swirl courtesy of longtime Flaming Lips producer Dave Fridmann (“This Too Shall Pass,” “Back From Kathmandu”). Sounding too eager to please? Just throw in an earnest acoustic pledge (“Last Leaf”) and a beseeching lullaby (“While You Were Asleep”) to maintain cred with the NPR set.
While OTBCOTS does possess a certain sly swagger, the slinky, lite-soul shtick comes across as hit-hungry and forced. It’s a low-impact dance mix that promises to work up a seductive sweat, yet ultimately takes its leave with nothing more than chaste promises of more to come.