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Sway - This Is My Demo

Sway, This Is My Demo

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 2 out of 5

SWAY is another highly-rated urban artist who manages to transcend his genre to make music that has the capacity to appeal to a broad crossover of fans.

His first full album, This Is My Demo comes from the same style of approach employed by the likes of Roll Deep, Kano and Roots Manuva in that it draws from a broad range of music styles including hip-hop, grime, soul and pop.

That said, it’s not as successful as any of those artists and delivers as many duds as it does hits, making it a laboured listen with only a few noteworthy moments.

Sway is certainly a product of his urban environment, tackling all of the latest issues from under-age sex, fashion and consumerism to poverty and crime.

The best example of this is Flo Fashion, a catchy hybrid of electronica and rap that paints a pretty bleak picture of urban desolation, while Sick World is set against one of the funkiest beats on the long-player despite containing some hard-hitting lyrics.

Back For You, meanwhile, closes the album on a high, emerging as a catchy hybrid of Goldie Lookin’ Chain style hip-hop and pop-friendly R’n’B that would make quite a successful single.

Sway’s playful, inventive style is also evident on the quick fix that is Little Derek, a track that tackles the subject of under-age sex in vaguely humorous fashion by setting a smooth beat over a conversation between a boy and a girl about sex. The two in question have only been together for three days (the girl usually waits four for sex), but having persuaded the girl to put out, the boy then gets cold feet.

These tracks aside, the rest of the album is filled out with mundane efforts such as Pretty Ugly Husband, which sets a scatter-gun beat against some fast-talking, Dizzee Rascal-style vocals, before dropping in an R’n’B chorus. The mix doesn’t work well and gets annoying long before the track has departed.

Likewise, Hype Boys, the grime-laden Up You Speed and the heavy-going Download, which represent the worst excesses of this particular genre. It is during such moments that the album became a turn-off.

For those who dig the style, however, This Is My Demo boasts a bonus DVD packed with videos, interviews and freestyles that further serve to showcase Sway’s particular ‘talent’. It means those that rate the album are well catered for. I suspect it’ll carry more of an underground appeal than a mainstream one, though.

For me, it worked best in limited doses.

Track listing:

  1. This Is My Demo
  2. Products
  3. Hype Boys
  4. Little Derek
  5. Pretty Ugly Husband
  6. Flo Fashion
  7. Up Your Speed
  8. Download
  9. Loose Woose
  10. Sick World
  11. On My Own
  12. Back For You
  13. Slow Down
  14. Month In The Summer