OK Go

Hungry Ghosts

Paracadute

Jan 07, 2015 Issue #52 - January/February 2015 - St. Vincent Bookmark and Share


OK Go may always be known for their endlessly brilliant and creative music videos, but taken on its own, their music stands as probably our best approximation of the kind of once-prevalent power-pop the radio used to be interested in. 2010's Of the Blue Colour of the Sky was a high point for the band, adding soul and funk elements, frontman Damian Kulash frequently using a soulful upper register. After that fresh take, it's hard not to hear Hungry Ghosts as a step back, even if it contains a myriad of catchy, off-kilter pop songs.

Opener "Upside Down & Inside Out" gets things off to an extra-processed, super-produced start. Digital effects are laid all over this thing (a too-common element in the whole tracklist), but underneath the mechanical layers, the song reveals itself to be fun, if a bit sugary. As the album progresses, though, it becomes hard to listen to without wishing each song had its own kinetic, creative video.

The aforementioned funky factors in the last album are pretty much nonexistent, and they've been replaced by synthetic plodders like "Obsession." "The One Moment" is almost offensively dewey-eyed, sounding like its intended role is as a high school graduation song. However, Hungry Ghosts pulls itself together by the end, offering two great and unique tunes in "If I Had a Mountain" and "The Great Fire." These and a few others together would have made a killer EP, but as it stands, they make Hungry Ghosts worth an occasionally tedious listen. For now, OK Go will have to be content with the notoriety they gain from their videos. (www.okgo.net)

Author rating: 5/10

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