To Be Kind

To Be Kind Image
Metascore
88

Universal acclaim - based on 35 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 218 Ratings

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  • Summary: The third release since the Michael Gira-led band reformed in 2010 was recorded by John Congleton and has a run time of over two hours.
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  • Record Label: Young God
  • Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Experimental Rock, Art Rock, Noise-Rock, American Underground, Post-Punk
  • More Details and Credits »

Top Track

Screen Shot
Love, child, reach, rise; sight, blind, steal, light Mind, scar, clear, fire; clean, right, pure, kind Sun, come, sky, tar; mouth, sand, teeth,... See the rest of the song lyrics
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35
  1. Jun 4, 2014
    100
    To Be Kind is as vital and unsettling as anything they’ve ever done, and displays a mastery of their craft that seems almost automatic at this point.
  2. 100
    It might be the most accessible Swans album yet. The long stretches of abstract noise are draped over some surprisingly catchy hooks. A few moments might even qualify as singalong road trip anthems.
  3. 91
    To Be Kind is a loving ode to chaos, full of deranged, mutant energy and even more brilliant for it.
  4. May 12, 2014
    80
    People are still willing to give music their time and money. With albums like To Be Kind, it’s easy to see why.
  5. Classic Rock Magazine
    Dec 18, 2014
    80
    To Be Kind is evidence that they continue to grow and may not have reached their peak yet. It's superb for now, though. [Summer 2014, p.90]
  6. Mojo
    May 15, 2014
    80
    Given its length, trying to tackle To Be Kind n one sitting might feel like the musical equivalent of scaling Everest, but with so many dizzying peaks along the way the effort is well rewarded. [Jun 2014, p.90]
  7. May 8, 2014
    60
    To Be Kind is uncompromising to the point of overindulgence.

See all 35 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 27
  2. Negative: 3 out of 27
  1. May 23, 2014
    10
    Gira and his band members of primal animals throws out what is their best album to date, with its crashing instrumentation and mind-f*ckingGira and his band members of primal animals throws out what is their best album to date, with its crashing instrumentation and mind-f*cking lyricism that show hints to their older works like Filth and Cop, the band proves itselves to be one of the world's greatest experimental rock group.

    Must hear tracks:
    ALL

    Avoid tracks:
    NONE
    Expand
  2. May 13, 2014
    10
    This is not experimental music, this is pure power delivered by Thor himself, or Mr. Gira as we have known him since he formed Swans. Musik, non stop!
  3. Jul 12, 2014
    10
    “Is there such a thing as insanity in a world which has already gone insane?”

    As well as being most complicated and refined of their works,
    “Is there such a thing as insanity in a world which has already gone insane?”

    As well as being most complicated and refined of their works, “To Be Kind” is by far Swans’ most visceral and provocative. Gira’s riveting and primal lyrical delivery illuminates both the affliction of the human condition, and the self-imposed limitations of our lives, which restrict our freedom, and ultimately our own happiness. Swans strip away any saccharin elements of melody or catchiness to showcase pure sonic power through tense, complex and progressive instrumentation, unstoppable rhythm, and ferocious vocal delivery. Not only is it their magnum opus, it may just be the best album of 2014.
    Expand
  4. Jun 3, 2014
    10
    Really one of those rare albums you list under the category of incredible. Once you start playing it, you will most likely not be able to stopReally one of those rare albums you list under the category of incredible. Once you start playing it, you will most likely not be able to stop until the experience is complete. Powerful and profound, this is shaping up to be the almost unanimous best album of 2014. And it's only June. Expand
  5. Sep 18, 2015
    10
    This album is indescribable. 2 hours with 10 songs which is all amazing. The band plays the music as it should be played since it is "Swans"This album is indescribable. 2 hours with 10 songs which is all amazing. The band plays the music as it should be played since it is "Swans" and Michael Gira sings, screams and shouts in amazingly different ways each track and together with the music it just becomes as near to perfect as possible.

    Give it a listen. It is 2 hours worth it. That's for sure.
    Expand
  6. Jul 11, 2014
    9
    You don’t need a painted face, hyper-extended unreally red tongue lolling down to your navel, odd coloured contact lenses, matted hair andYou don’t need a painted face, hyper-extended unreally red tongue lolling down to your navel, odd coloured contact lenses, matted hair and definitely not foot-high heels to be a scary musical act. You just need to be Michael Gira and make the kind of music his band Swans makes. But that’s the tough part. Because the band’s music is scary not in a horror-inducing way. It is terrifying in its unrelenting intensity. In these times of 3-minute attention spans (am I being generous here?), Swans is an anachronism, making a huge demand on you with albums that are 2-hour long monster works. Less than two years after the release of their riveting epic “The Seer”, Swans have come back with what I think is perhaps an even better effort in “To Be Kind”. All the Swans stock-in-trade are here. The hypnotic quality created by phrases repeated, building up with slight modifications, gradual additions and then the nearly out-of-control spiralling crescendo best exemplified in my opinion on the shamanistic “Screen Shot” which, had the words been different, could well make for an incitement to ritual mayhem. The multi-movement half-an-hour extravagance in “Bring The Sun/Toussaint L’Ouverture”. The mystical allure and strange interludes of “Nathalie Neal”. Gira and co. draw you in to their murky, insane swirl of music, bind you such that even when you break back to the surface and clamber on to safe shores, you dive back after a short breather. Either that or you bounce off the surface perhaps never again to venture anywhere close. Not for everyone, this. Because this is a dark pool that is not penetrated by the light of joy. Yet it will cleanse you in a cathartic way...at a price. More than just music, it’s an experience. Not necessarily uplifting but definitely something that will make you question convention. And that in my opinion is a good thing. Expand
  7. Oct 26, 2016
    0
    to be kind is just simplistic garbage passed off as art rock. hipster tools listen to this to think they are cool. swans is the worst band ofto be kind is just simplistic garbage passed off as art rock. hipster tools listen to this to think they are cool. swans is the worst band of all time. Expand

See all 27 User Reviews

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