Blue October | Sway (Up/Down-Brando Records)

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Blue-October Sway_75It may be the band’s seventh studio album, but there’s a strong feeling of conciseness here that I didn’t find in their past material.

 

 

Blue October has always been one of those bands that just didn’t interest me. I tried and tried but couldn’t seem to enjoy their music. Yet with Sway, I listened through the album with ease. It struck me differently than the rest of the band’s music has. It may be the band’s seventh studio album, but there’s a strong feeling of conciseness here that I didn’t find in their past material.

What I enjoyed most about the album is that it’s elegant. Tracks are ambient but retain a forceful edge to them. “Debris” is a good example of this, keeping a slow melody but still striking hard emotionally. Even the album cover is simple yet beautiful. Most tracks give off a happy and loose vibe that compliments this elegance.

My one quarrel is that about half of the album sounds identical. Blue October has always struggled with vocal variation, in my opinion, and this album slips a little in that regard. But compared to the band’s discography, this album improves in branching out.

This band has come a long way in their music career. The sound in Sway is still very much Blue October, but in a way, more relaxed. The band sounds more confident and organized with where they want their music to go. While most artists lose spark late in their music career, Blue October have not. And if you take anything from this review, let it be that. B- | Alex Wilking

Standout tracks - Sway, Bleed Out, Debris

R. I. Y. L. - Staind, Hinder, Finger Eleven

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