First Appeared in The Music Box, September 2005, Volume 12, #9
Written by T.J. Simon
On OK Go’s self-titled 2002 debut, the Chicago-based foursome presented a suite of good-time alterna-pop that, despite the weightlessness if its lyrics, was irresistible. Unfortunately, the band has taken a decidedly darker turn on its accurately titled follow-up Oh No. The bulk of its new material finds the band embracing a palpably harder edge, and although the usage of blazing guitars and screaming vocals isn’t inherently bad, OK Go is incapable of delivering rough-and-tumble rock in a way that is either enjoyable or unique.
Blame it on the Swedes: Oh No was recorded in Malmöö, Sweden, and it was produced by Tore Johansson. Throughout Oh No, Johansson seems committed to recreating his success with Franz Ferdinand, but essentially his efforts yield a knock-off that zaps any semblance of OK Go’s originality. Nevertheless, there are a few bright spots that remain, such as the decent guitar riffs — and cow bell! — that color Do What You Want and the decent chorus that arises from Let It Rain. Finally, the video for the single A Million Ways is a priceless bit of synchronized choreography that dresses up an otherwise unremarkable song on a largely forgettable album.
49th Annual Grammy Award Winner:
Best Short Form Music Video
Here It Goes Again
Oh No is available from Barnes & Noble.
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2005 The Music Box