Ranking All OK Go Music Videos

Pop rock band OK Go are YouTube geniuses. In fact, it could be said that the only reason they have been able to remain relevant for over a decade is due to their hilarious and creative music videos virally spreading around the internet. Don’t get me wrong; I like their music too, but I doubt I would have heard of them without “the treadmills music video” that I watched and dissected over and over again in the mid-2000s.

Since then, they keep raising their game in new and wholly unexpected ways. There was a brief, sad moment in OK Go history where they made basic music videos. They are listed on here (at the bottom where they belong) for reference only. Instead, spend your time admiring the creativity and boldness and pure audacity that is OK Go music videos.

II had meant to write this blog for over a year, but with the release of another epic video, The One Moment, earlier this month I knew it was finally time to rank all of their music videos. And here we (OK) go.

1) UPSIDE DOWN & INSIDE OUT

All music videos will forever be compared to this one. Filmed in one of those zero-gravity planes and executed to absolute perfection, this video cannot be watched enough. You cannot watch it without equal parts head nodding, jaw-dropping amazement and childish smiles that only bright colors can bring. Perfect in every way.
Audacity bonus points: + infinity
Song bonus points: +3

2) THE ONE MOMENT

I’m a sucker for slow motion, and this is an incredible use of the technology. Fun to watch, absurd to try and comprehend how it was done and all around a freaking gem.
Audacity bonus points: +9

Song bonus points: +4

3) THIS TOO SHALL PASS (Rube Goldberg Edition)

I have a personal love or Rube Goldberg machines. We had to build one in high school physics and lucky for me my best friends in the class were also really smart dudes, so we made a pretty cool one. The scale, colors (a repetitive theme, I know) and the vibrancy of this brings joy to my heart. Plus, when you realize at the end why they’re covered in paint creates a nice coda.
Audacity bonus points: +6
Song bonus points: +4

4) WHITE KNUCKLES

Simple, effective and DOGS!!! If you know me, and let’s be honest you’re not reading this if you don’t, you know I love dogs more than just about anything. It's breathing, dogs, sleeping as my top three activities. And yes, I called dogs an activity. Anyway, this is adorable, quirky in all the right ways and a joy to watch. Apparently, it can be watched in 3D too, but I do not have that technology available to me.
Audacity bonus points: +2

Song bonus points: +4

5) HERE IT GOES AGAIN

The video in which a generation of us was first introduced to OK GO still holds up. Comparing it to Upside Down and Inside Out is difficult because the simplicity seems so quaint now. But what I love about it is having just eight treadmills allows them to explore how to use them in so many creative ways. If they were moving from, say, one piece of workout equipment to another and another in fast succession, we wouldn’t see how far they could push the gag.
Audacity bonus points: +2
Music bonus points: +2

6) A MILLION WAYS

Seeing these guys awkwardly dancing in a garden and knowing what was to become of their music videos is freaking adorable.
Audacity bonus points: +1
Song bonus points: +3

7) THIS TOO SHALL PASS (Marching Band Edition)

For whatever reason, they made two versions of This Too Shall Pass music video. While the other is legendary, this version is funny in its way, but not outstanding. The only reason it is this high is that my nephews love it so much and if they ever learn I have a blog and read this they will disown me if I put it lower.
Audacity bonus points: +0

Song bonus points: +2

8) WTF?

It’s 3 minutes and 44 seconds of that feeling of winning computer Solitare and having the cards do that 3D floaty/bouncy thing all over the screen. They get creative with the ways they use this ghosting animation (or whatever it’s called), and I’m a fan!
Audacity bonus points: +1
Music bonus points: +1

9) THE WRITING'S ON THE WALL

You need to watch multiple times to get the full effect in this lesson in perspective. That is both a good and a bad thing. It’s more technically outstanding than a pleasure to watch but still remarkable.
Audacity bonus points +3
Song bonus points +0

10) I WON'T LET YOU DOWN

One minute into this music video and you think you know where it’s going. It has all of the bright colors and characteristics with cheeky choreography of an OK GO music video, and you wouldn’t be blamed for not making it until the end. But you’d miss out on what is a stunning finale as the camera rises into the sky with some incredible umbrella work going on below.
Audacity bonus points +4
Song bonus points: +0

11) DO WHAT YOU WANT (Version 2)

They come in hot in this one. Kinda trippy effects and fun with everyone in matching garish wallpaper outfits that match the background. At times feels like it would be an opening to American Horror Story or something.
Audacity bonus points: 0
Song bonus points: +1

12) END LOVE

Filmed with a mixture of slow and high-speed timelapse (mostly the latter), this one feels like it was harder to pull off than it appears. But other than the duck (or goose, whatever, I’m not a Bird Lawyer) and some cool visuals, it feels as if this one could have been done by anyone with the time to put it together.
Audacity bonus points: 0
Song bonus points +1

13) SKYSCRAPERS

This just doesn’t feel like an OK GO music video, at least not the kind we’ve come to know. It’s pretty, but also pretty bland. After a while it begins to feel hypnotic, but it’s a tall order to rank this higher on the list of some truly magical videos.
Audacity bonus points: 0
Song bonus points: +2

14) NEEDING/GETTING

Not sure what is going on here. Not only are there far too many cuts to feel genuine, the music is meh and the whole thing feels way too much like a Chevy commercial. You can see it in their faces they know it too.
Audacity bonus points: +3 (though execution is iffy)
Song bonus points: -1

15) GPS PARADE

It’s like Mardis Gras meets and Anthony Kiedis fever dream as OK GO parades around Los Angeles. Nothing about it is really all that memorable. And the Kiedis reference is noteworthy because so many of the onlookers look exactly like they were remnants from the Under The Bridge video.
Audacity bonus points: 0
Song bonus points: 0

16) LAST LEAF

This feels like a strange college art film. Worse yet, it sounds like a strange college acoustic band. Both are cool for 30 seconds or so, then you get the point and want to move on. Even at around 2 minutes, it feels much much longer.
Audacity bonus points: 2
Song bonus points: -1

17) ALL IS NOT LOST

This is supposed to be an HTML 5 (when that was the new cool kid on the block) experiment done with Google Chrome at http://www.allisnotlo.st/. I couldn’t get it to work correctly and I’m busy.
Audacity bonus points: ???
Song bonus points: 0

18) GET OVER IT

Pretty standard pop rock music video.
Audacity bonus points: N/A
Song bonus points: +3

19) DON'T ASK ME

Completely basic music video that could have been for just about any band (The Strokes, Arctic Monkeys or whoever).
Audacity bonus points: N/A
Song bonus points: +2

 

 

 

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