This Chicago band's third studio album refutes three pop music myths: 1) All Top 40 songs are built around a drum machine; 2) you can't break with a major label and still have a national hit months later, and 3) taking five years off between albums will ruin your career.
After a long hiatus, this release came in January. OK Go split with EMI in March and rereleased the album on an indie label in April. Despite the turmoil, "White Knuckles" features real human drumming and is climbing the singles charts this month.
The album brims with a Vampire Weekend-like, laid-back party vibe. The distortion of "WTF" is easygoing and playful. The bouncy piano chords of "This Too Shall Pass" meander across grooving horns and bass. The guitar riffs on "White Knuckles" are as effortless as a lazy Sunday afternoon.
The album is high enough on good feeling to suggest how OK Go survived a year of adversity, and it's sure to fuel the energy of Freakfest 2010.