You have to feel a little bit bad for OK Go. Ever since they made the one-take, dancing-on-treadmills instant classic video for “Here It Goes Again,” the fifth (!) single from their 2005 album Oh No, they raised the level of expectations for their subsequent music videos impossibly high. You can’t help but wonder if the reason they have taken so long to record a follow-up album is because they were having a hard time coming up with an idea for the album’s first video.
We’re kidding, of course, but still, we’re willing to bet they went through over a hundred treatments before settling on the one for “WTF,” the first single from their upcoming album Of the Blue Colour of the Sky. The press release quotes singer Damian Kulash saying that “there is a lot of Purple Rain on this record,” a statement that we found dubious, to say the least. After all, Trent Reznor once said that Nine Inch Nails were making a Prince record, and the end result was The Fragile. Not quite a Prince record.
But as it turns out, OK Go did channel Prince, though we’d say it’s more Parade than Purple Rain. (Kulash’s falsetto is pure “Kiss.”) Armed with a Yes-like time signature (5/4, for those keeping score at home), “WTF” is one of the band’s best songs yet, and the video is an eye-popper. Using what we believe is referred to in the drug world as the tracer effect, the clips shows the band members walking around a white set, using giant wands to change the colors in the background. The clip looks like it was shot in one take as well, though we’re guessing there are a couple of cuts spliced in there. Either way, it’s a brilliant clip, in a my-head-hurts kind of way.