Internet sensations have a short shelf-life which makes OK Go’s extended break after the treadmill-jumping clip for “Here It Goes Again” went viral in 2006 somewhat admirable. They resisted the temptation to knock out another collection of power pop and instead hibernated for a few years, eventually teaming up with Dave Fridmann -- a former member of Mercury Rev best known for his production work with the Flaming Lips -- with the intention of reinvention, resulting in the mildly bewildering Of the Blue Colour of the Sky. Rarely resembling the twitchy punk-pop of nearly five years ago, Of the Blue Colour of the Sky’s touchstone isn’t Weezer, it's Prince, an about-face the band cheekily acknowledges with the title of their opening track, “WTF.” Of course, Prince has been the white weirdos' go-to freak for the better part of two decades now -- Ween and Beck are in his debt, R.E.M. and Warren Zevon dirtied up “Raspberry Beret” as the Hindu Love Gods -- so the surprise isn’t the choice of inspiration, but rather that OK Go chose to return with a record that bears only fleeting traces of the pop immediacy of their first two: when they’re not knocking off the Purple One on “White Knuckles,” they’re on the same space trip as the Lips (“Back from Kathmandu”) or gazing inwardly like Beck on Sea Change. This spaciousness expands as the album rolls on, eventually obscuring the hooks of the first half -- particularly the surging “This Too Shall Pass” and spiky “All Is Not Lost,” in addition to “White Knuckles” -- and if the range is impressive, especially considering their neo-novelty background, it ultimately seems diffuse, not daring, never coalescing despite impressive moments.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine