Blue October – Sway

by Chuck Dauphin

blue-october-swaySometimes, being different is a great thing – unless you’re just being different for the sake of saying you are. At times, on Blue October’s follow-up to their well received 2011 disc Any Man In America, Justin Furstenfeld and Co. sound like they are trying too hard to be a critical darling. I have to admit that’s what I was thinking on “Debris” and “Put It In.” The former never seems to really pick up any steam, and to my ears – the latter is too busy in terms of production, with so many sounds going at once, you can’t really concentrate on any certain part of the song.

That being said, however, there are some excellent moments of musical virtuosity on Sway. The title cut is breathy and seductive, with a dreamy pop melody that will have you hitting repeat time and time again. Furstenfeld takes center stage with a soulful delivery on the soulful “Angels In Everything.” and Ryan Delahoussaye captivates with  some excellent piano work on “Bleed Out.”

Other cuts worth mentioning include the electro-like sounds of “Light You Up” and the arena rock-ish “Things We Do At Night,” with the band saving their best till last with the glorious “Not Broken Anymore,” where Furstenfeld offers a vocal for the ages. Blue October offers up a disc that showcases each member’s talents to the max. Overall, a worthwhile follow-up!

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