Chicago's entry into the '00s-meet-the-'80s pop-rock gold rush, OK Go, is made up of four dandies with a taste for paisley and flowered patterns in their garb and hooky, feisty, near-hyperactivity in their songs. But behind their almost-too-eager-to-please energy, mix 'n' match sartorial flair and wacky dance moves (on shameless display in the "A Million Ways" video) is a surprising lyrical depth and range of social concerns. At first blush, their second CD, OH NO, plays like a Top of the Pops collection, yet close listening reveals a pre-apocalyptic landscape of doom, gloom, greed, power-mad politicos and - that old rock 'n' roll standby - faithless lovers. Singer Damian Kulash has penned a manifesto entitled "How Your Band Can Fire Bush," so perhaps the sugar-coating is an insidious trick to stir the consciousness of the sleeping masses. The band has certainly gained access, playing Times Square on New Year's Eve and hitting a number of the network TV late-night and morning shows. One imagines that when the current trend subsides and (hopefully) OK Go makes it into the long run and settles into a groove, it could be a band that really matters. Until then, just shake your thing or punch a fist of righteous resistance into the air to the beat of music. Or both.
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