‘The Signature LP’ – the UK’s biggest rap release this year. Sway – the UK’s brightest hope for world wide success. It’s that simple. You’re probably part of the hype surrounding this – I know I am – and you know how much anticipation comes with the release of this album. The news of Sway’s signing to Akon’s Kon Live magnifies the excitement surrounding this as new markets are reached.
The multiple release date push-backs point to the necessity for this album to drop at precisely the right time. The two lead tracks ‘F UR X’ and ‘Saturday Night Hustle’ have already caused mass commotion being featured in the film ‘Adulthood’ and on the Jools Holland show respectively. All signs of the big things sure to come.
Self produced ‘Fit 4 A King’ opens the album on a continuation of this theme; the stadium-sized production is a confident forecast of the success of this LP. Where first impressions do count Sway hasn’t put a foot wrong with the orchestra, chants, choirs, lead guitar, Queen-esque drums and the curiously Brit-Pop sounding sung vocals. Then there are the lyrics; Sway still has the tongue twisting, phrase bending abilities that he burst onto the scene with on his ‘This Is My Promo’ mixtapes.
Sway mixes wit, skill and a thorough understanding of self-marketing over the remaining 15 tracks. He also introduces us to his more contemplative side, addressing issues he’s previously left untouched, particularly death (‘Pray 4 Kaya’ and ‘Letters to Heaven’). The whole album seems incredibly premeditated when considered as a part of his entire career. Everything new on here wouldn’t have worked in his earlier, more underground days but now is the absolute perfect time to reveal Sway’s spectrum of ability.
The attempt at capturing a wider audience does mean that most people will find that a couple of tracks don’t appeal to them. As quite a staunch Hip Hop fan, tracks like the already huge ‘F UR EX’ and the soon to be absolutely-flippin’-massive ‘Silver & Gold’ featuring Akon (the last-minute inclusion of this making for the final release date change) don’t quite hit. Having said this, I’m not stupid and I know the more poppy tracks on here are sure to garner massive radio play, probably in the UK and the US. And to be honest I’d rather hear Sway on the radio than any of the other ‘Urban’ acts that get spins at the moment.
‘Walk Away’ sees Sway accept the responsibility of stardom – addressing street violence and preaching a positive message to the thousands of attentive ears sure to be listening to this. ‘Say it Twice’, ‘Jason Waste’ (Sway’s pretty hilarious new character), ‘Upload’, bonus track ‘Taxi’ and ‘Stereo’ (Produced by Chops) are all pretty much classic Sway. If you’re open minded you’ll find tracks like ‘Saturday Night Hustle’ (highlight: Sway rapping his vital statistics), ‘End of the Road’ (featuring Sting’s daughter Coco, who has an intriguing voice) and ‘Look After My Girl’ to be excellent extensions of Sway’s impressive lyricism.
‘Special Place’ has to be the worst track – I can’t see anyone being into it really, it’s quite annoying but this is the only duff moment on the entire album, every other song is awesome in its own way. In my opinion this makes ‘The Signature LP’ an awesome album and one that should be on every British music fan’s CD shelf. It hasn’t disappointed even though I thought I would prefer something similar to his previous album, mixtapes and guest verses. Sway has proved that he knows best and as long as he keeps doing his thing, the plan that he has should work out just lovely.
‘The Signature LP’ is out on Monday on Dcypha Productions and will be available everywhere – probably even down at Tesco’s.