OOKAY — WOW! COOL ALBUM!

Release date: May 4, 2018
Rating: 3/5 stars

There were definitely bigger — both in name and stature — albums to review this week, like Rae Sremmurd’s insane 27-track SR3MM (although, the typical 12-ish track length does come from limited space available on vinyl and, later, CDs, so, I suppose, in the digital age, there are no limitations on album length except for listener attention span, but, I digress.), but I chose the semi-obscure Ookay’s debut Wow! Cool Album! because, simply, the title was too compelling not to listen to.

Ookay is what would emerge from the womb if The 1975, LANY, and 3OH!3 had a baby that was even more into techno than they are. It’s light, happy club music that makes you want to tap your foot. There’s no depth to it, but if you’re driving with the windows down on a summer day and you’re not into country music, Wow! Cool Album! is the album to blast.

Honestly, there’s not much more to say about this album other than that it’s fun and well-produced; the titles are where the ingenuity lies. The first two tracks are called “Wow 2” and “Cool,” and, for once, this copy-cat titling doesn’t bother me because it’s just so hilariously wry. The rest of the titles are short and sweet: “Next 2 Me,” “In My Mind,” “Fight 4 U,” etc. I respect this album because it’s not trying too hard to be anything; it’s just fun, easy bangerz.

“Time Warp,” the only track with a featured artist, showcases Sara Skinner and makes me wonder why Ookay, whose title on Google is “music producer,” didn’t recruit more official singers to help with him album. He sings on most of the other tracks himself (“Wow 2” is instrumental), and while his voice isn’t bad, I can’t imagine it being very enjoyable live/without autotune. The meat of the songs is definitely the beats; but the melodies are surprisingly not-far reaching, presumably because Ookay doesn’t have the vocal range. With producers like Zedd and The Chainsmokers writing incredible melodies with talented vocalists, it’s a little strange Ookay wouldn’t recruit more help, but maybe his network just isn’t wide enough yet. But it’s ookay.

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