Whenever I prepare to review any music, I am generally looking for an angle. I’m looking for a story I can tell to help readers relate to the album so as to identify with it the same way that I do. In many instances, this becomes a chore and I am struggling to find ways to spew out several paragraphs about any given review.
This has never been a problem with Blue October, however, because if anything I’ve only ever had to try and restrict what I write about them so as not to become a rambling mess of pages no one wants to read after the first few.
Anyone who knows me musically knows that I am a fan of Blue October and if not for their band (and a few others) I’d probably be dead right now because many of their songs are therapeutic for me. So one of the important factors to consider when listening to “Sway” is how it compares to their previous albums.
Lyrically and just for the overall mood, “Sway” seems to pick up where “Approaching Normal” left off, which would be sort of given if not for that album in between the two called “Any Man in America”. This leads to a lot of speculation on my part that perhaps this album would have come next had there been no relapse, but that’s another story for another time.
While “Approaching Normal” had the few songs that were heavier on the depressive side, “Sway” seems to not have any of that. There is no open book confessional song like “HRSA” or an audio clip from a voice mail. This is a fairly normal album from Blue October that channels The Police, various other rock bands and, well, Blue October themselves.
My biggest question after first listening to “Sway” was whether or not Blue October could make good music that wasn’t self destructive and had a theme of some sort like their previous albums. After listening to this a lot though (And I mean *a lot*), I have realized that Blue October can be perhaps an even greater band without all of the drama.