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MKTO Unveil Debut Video, Capture Voice of a Generation on 'Thank You' [Review]


Newcomers MKTO are breaking ground by being one of the very few artists in today's mainstream pop arena who dare to defy existing conventions and deliver a socially-conscious message that captures the voice of a generation. Instead of telling a (more common) story about heartbreak or living it up in the club, the duo of Tony Oller and Malcolm David Kelley sound a rallying cry on their debut single "Thank You." The song is best described as a modern-day protest song that candidly addresses some of the issues in society that young people have to deal with when charting life after school.

War, poverty, government debt and inequality are some of the topics that the fresh-faced pop rebels discuss on "Thank You" in not-so subtle terms. "Thank you for feeding us years of lies," Oller fires at the establishment. "Thank you for the wars you left us to fight/Thank you for the world you ruined overnight/Thank you for the world you broke/Thank you for nothing."  

But "Thank You" is not just a song about what's wrong and broken. MKTO (aka "Misfit Kids and Total Outcasts") also serves up a hefty dose of hope and encouragement. They emphasize that the world is ultimately what you make of it no matter who you are or what you believe in. "If you don’t like what they tell you to do/Don't do it/If you don't want to be who they want you to be/Screw it /It's your world /It's your life." 

The video for "Thank You" amplifies the song's core message and (literally) shows how pop music can turn into a social movement. The video starts out with Oller and Kelly crashing the presidential podium to proclaim how they really feel about the state of the world. That intro is followed by scenes of the duo performing the song that is interspersed with footage of hundreds of kids occupying the streets of downtown Los Angeles to rally for what they believe in.

The video's crucial scene shows MKTO performing "Thank You" on the roof of a car surrounded by fans while other fans are flying up to the sky in pursuit of their dreams. It's a bold (and yes, daring) statement wrapped in a mightily hooky package that has all the makings of a massive breakout hit. "Thank You" was written by Evan "Kidd" Bogart, Emanuel Kiriakou, Andrew Goldstein, Tony Oller and Malcolm David Kelley. (Download MKTO "Thank You" right here.)