An explosion of rainbow paint, a car that can conduct a symphony and a synchronised dance number on treadmills – Chicago indie-rock band OK Go are undoubtedly the magicians of the music video world, with each release you wait in baited breath and anticipation of what wacky and off the wall video gimmick, they will pull out of their hats next. From slow motion to zero gravity and smart unicycles, OK Go has certainly kept me very much entertained and wowed over the years, and anytime music videos come up in conversation with friends, for me, OK Go is rarely far away from the discussion, in fact they’re usually at the centre of it.
However, if you were to ask me, can I remember a single OK Go song? You’ll find your answer in my confused expression and constant stammering. Simply put, I couldn’t even begin to name more than two fingers worth of the band’s singles. But, if you were to ask me to remember their music videos, then you’ll probably have to take a seat because I could go on for hours. The randomness and absurdity of such videos as ‘I Won’t Let You Down’ and ‘Upside Down & Inside Out,’ ensure that they engrain themselves in your thoughts for a very long time and urge you to talk about them with your friends afterwards. Whilst the music isn’t memorable, the videos certainly are.
Aren’t the OK Go videos a little too gimmicky? Which is probably the question you’re asking yourself right now, correct? Sure, you could see it that way, but consider every other music video currently clogging up our YouTube/Facebook feeds, for instance Hip Hop videos. Taking the music aside, the videos themselves are merely a catalogue of all the expensive cars, homes and jewellery rappers (Future, Drake, 2Chainz etc.) own, and the women in them, purely trophies to be paraded around in thongs. Unfortunately, most Hip Hop videos are bereft of any real artistic flair.
Well, luckily for us, this is never an issue with OK Go. But what is it about their music videos in particular; keep the candle in our souls burning? Well, it’s simple; no other musicians in the world take as much time and bring in as much innovation to their videos as OK Go does. Usually the music video horizon is dark with an over saturation of women being paraded in next to nothing and tedious direct to camera singing, however, every time the Chicago natives adorn the internet with one of their videos, it’s like a glimmer of creativity piercing through the darkness and lighting up our world. Like Pixar and its animations, the release of an Ok Go video is like a mini event in of itself and over the years, I’ve grown accustomed to expecting excellent quality from each.