Blue October



by ramonM64 USER (1 Reviews)
August 28th, 2013 | 8 replies

Release Date: 2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A return of Blue, but on a happy note. Justin's vocals and Ryan's violin help bring together an album and new beginning.

As fall approaches, quietly rises a solid album release from Blue October. Although far from the "blue" tones you'd expect from these guys, "Sway" never strays too far from the band's known formulas and smart arrangements. Some experimention comes to play but I was reminded of the ground at times. Most importantly, the album sharply displays Justin's reborn attitude on life.

It starts off with the haunting and whistling intro, "Breathe, It's Over". It's a niice way to start, very thought provoking and exhales optimism of what's to come. Next, smoothly comes in the title track "Sway". It makes you wanna' do just that, sway away with it's catchy bounces. With a carefree and bubbly tone, very easily the most laid-back track of the album - THUMP! - We hit safe ground with "Angels In Everything" and "Bleed Out", they play next. Both very catchy and radio-friendly but don't stand out too much from the rest of the album. The former seems to have issue towards the end, dragging on a bit. It's worth noting, the latter features a swell tremoring bassline. That said, they both have their distinction and great set of vocals but just don't hit that "wonder" note the other songs here do.

Then we got "Debris" - What starts off simple enough, gets a niice instrumental and vocal crescendo going that reaches a high-climax sound of perfection. Despite it's somewhat vague lyrics, it's difficult not to be pulled in to it's climb. "Fear" comes and so does that reminder of our own demons, only brought out by Justin's great vocal delivery.. if that makes any sense. Press in some great piano arrangements and worldless harmonies, and you have a very heartfelt ballad.

The soft and mellow, "Things We Don't Know About", sneaks in right before the hard rockers of the album, "Hard Candy" and "Put It In". While at times very rehearsed and contained, these two rocks provide enough angled arrangements and sharp hooks to keep from being soft or going stale. Ironic to it's lyrics, "I used to dress like a hooker / but never seemed to hook anyone ", I found "Hard Candy" to be very fun and the "edgier" one of the two.

"Light You Up" shifts from a ghost hip-hop arrangement to an electric stutter anthem. I'm still not sure what it's about.. accusations of depressive and alcohol abuse tendencies or one's bout with one's own voices internally.. both seem probable and bittersweet fitting. "Things We Do At Night" is about things you probably could guess, but it's all just a distraction for a tomorrow. Jumpy drum arrangements accompany Justin's shout staduim vocals. A simple song sure to infect crowds with energy at concerts.

It comes to a near end and beginning with "Not Broken Anymore". Very reminiscent to the band's Foiled album's quiet ender "18th Floor Balcony", except with a bleak pitch. A stripped down, simple arrangement with powerful vocals shouting a farewell to one's past self, leading to hope of the listener that sanity is imaginable. Then, causing a calm.. pulsating and piercing sound, comes the smooth "To Be" to end it all. With Ryan's perfect and soothing violin, reminding one that, sometimes, you can say more with no words.

And that's it.. heart tugging with a uplifting lasting impression. Accordingly, like any other Blue October release, this thing gets attentional rotation on my part. Motivationally heavy enough to make me drop and want to write about it.. I suppose I'll leave it at that.

Album Standouts
"Hard Candy"
"Light You Up"
"Not Broken Anymore" / "To Be"

user ratings (45)
other reviews of this album
VaxXi (3.5)
Review 7 of 7: Finally catching a grip and turning everything around, Sway is a needed breath of fre...

Comments:Add a Comment 
August 28th 2013


Sounds prettly lame, more people should listen to Restrikted and Friends

August 28th 2013


Man my mom loves these guys. They annoy the living piss out of me.

August 29th 2013


Nice review. Pos'd. For me BO's strength always came from Justin's dark side. Anything on here that might make a "Razorbalde", "Drilled a Wire Through My Cheek", or "The End" fan happy?

August 29th 2013


Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, these guys have become a guilty pleasure of mine. For my relatives and the general internets, I

noticed they have been hit and miss. Which is understandable, since their albums usually don't have a

consistency (though that's what I like most 'bout them).

@AgentZero - Thank you. Agreed, nothing like being confused and darkened at what's being sung while enjoying heavy guitars all around. I will say I don't think anything will ever top "Drilled a Wire Through My Cheek" or "Razorblade". The darkest track I think is "Light You Up". And even then, it's not traditional Blue and leaves on a lighter note. "Hard Candy" sounds very close but, again, on the lighter side and is a pretty sunset compared to drilled or razorblade. Don't let that discourage you though, both are rock-out solid and, in yer' case, I recommend tryin' those 2 out.

About the Review - After a night's sleep, I fixed more spelling errors, fixed some redundancy, added

Album standouts, and such (not sure how to fix that link to "High Violet" though). I was gonna' give this a

5 right then and there but was high on that first listen (release day). Then I wasn't sure and became

indifferent with the lighter, vaguer, and cleaner change in Blue. So I ended up with middle ground to be


August 29th 2013


Album Rating: 4.0

I heard someone talking about this album, and she called it "the soundtrack to a suicide" and went on about how depressing it is. Then she said she wished they made more songs like "Into The Ocean" and I laughed heartily.

August 29th 2013


Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

I enjoyed the album but part of me is a little disappointed because it feels more generic and safe, much like Approaching Normal. Any Man in America was great in my opinion because it had a real emotional and human punch to it. This album feels a lot more simplified. I was hoping for something a bit closer to Consent to Treatment (their best in my opinion), but this isn't it.

As for the review, it's more of a summary than a review. I see that you're relatively new to Spuntik, so I'll give you a big tip: don't do track-by-track reviews. Everyone here hates them and they'll neg you all day and night, even if the writing is good. People much prefer discussion about the album and a couple songs from it, as opposed to simply describing each individual song.

August 31st 2013


Album Rating: 4.0

@TheGreatQ - ooh the irony. well, this release will no doubt further divide the listeners.

@TheSupernatural - i'll agree on Any Man in America having that weighted punch behind it. i suppose i enjoyed the happier side here, while still remaining sincere. Consent to Treatment seems impossible to top or match.. i'd love to be proven wrong though.

as for the advice, yes, i am new (i've read a few reviews here over the years though). i just now know what Pos'd meant and i can see what you mean. that's kinda what this review was suppose to be, a sort of venting. except, after gettin' a pop-up recommending to write a full instead (i'm guessing cuz of its length), i went there instead. didn't know it would get shown like it is now, which is kool but a little embarrassing considering the writing itself. hahas

September 2nd 2015


Album Rating: 4.0

heya. i was reminded of this review this past month and began doctering it, for the best.. i think. i just wanna' say, my stance still holds as before except maybe before it was actually a unsure 3.5 - 3.8 and now i think it's a solid 4. i never skip the tracks when they pop up on "Shuffle" and i still always pick "Light You Up" when i get to "L" tracks. ahhh.. good stuff.

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