OK Go - news
It's winter in Malmö, the Swedish industrial town where OK Go has come to record their second album for Capitol Records. The band is excited but wary. They've just spent two exhausting years touring the globe, and another six months back home, writing and rejecting more than sixty new songs. The writing process was grueling, but fruitful: OK Go came up with a collection of demos so strong they grabbed the attention of super-producer Tore Johansson, the hugely sought-after man behind Franz Ferdinand's debut album and the Cardigans' hits.
Tore's first words are gruff. "When you are finished with a take," he tells them in his half-menacing, half-hilarious Swedish accent," I will not come running into the studio smiling and waving my arms like some American producer. If I say something is OK, it is perfect. If I say nothing, you will do it again until I tell you stop." Tore spends ten minutes deriding the cookie-cutter slickness of America, home of editing systems smarter than the people who use them. It will be much simpler here, Tore assures them. "You will go into a room together and you will rock."
And rock they did. The result is Oh No, an album that absolutely explodes out of the speakers. Where other bands bomb out or bloat up on their second albums, OK Go has tightened the screws and trimmed the fat, delivering a stripped-down, revved-up forty-two minutes of wild, propulsive rock and roll. It's a worthy follow-up to their 2002 debut, which established OK Go as expert craftsmen of intelligent, ultra-catchy rock songs. If that album was the mischievous class president-smart and popular and sexy, and not as innocent as he seems - then Oh No is the same kid after he's spent a lurid summer in bedrooms and bar fights all over town.
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