“This is not the second album, this is the prequel to the sequel” announces the same young voice who introduced Sway’s debut album This Is My Demo last year. One For The Journey opens with the same adrenaline-rush inducing pace as This is My Demo’s title track and first track as True Stories races through a modern picture of Great Britain.
It encapsulates the vibe of the current analysis of the last decade as Sway asks, “What has this country become, Tony? / What have you done, Tony? / Why’s that kid got a gun, Tony? / Come out your house Tony, don’t run Tony”. There’s room for a jibe at studio-gangsters.
The high octane journey continues on Move Back, which, were it not for Sway’s cunning word play, would be a fairly bland self-promotion venture. Fortunately tied to a slick, fast, and tight beat it forgives the tomfoolery of Baby Father and Ex Boyfriend which aren’t dissimilar to tracks like Magic Roundabout that provided the lighter moments on Sway’s plethora of mixtapes.
You can tell Sway is proud of his own production on Up Your Speed, with the inclusion of part 2 (which misleadingly is at least the third version doing the rounds) on One For The Journey. Chamillionaire returns the favour of Sway’s verse on last summer’s massive hit Ridin’ as the track is reborn with an American edge that doesn’t sound awkward next to Sway’s distinctive Cockney rapping.
Mr Hudson‘s involvement on Every Man (For Himself) shows Sway’s range and the blend of his acoustic vocals and hint of strings relaxes One For The Journey. The genre crossover isn’t quite as spectacular as the Ask The D.J remix that Mr Hudson And The Library and Sway came up with but it’s a poignant look at the life of the humble, independent U.K rapper that Sway is.
One For The Journey is all about hype, and staying in the spotlight to ease the promo demands for Sway’s sophomore album release expected in early 2008. It certainly achieves that, as it is obvious that Sway’s development since dropping This Is My Demo has been massive. Still planning for four more albums (and a ‘best of’) Sway’s journey may just be beginning, but it’s looking exciting.