To Be Kind Image
Metascore
88

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

User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 254 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: 26 out of 30
  2. Negative: 2 out of 30
  1. Jun 12, 2014
    10
    To Be Kind is an album unlike anything I have heard in years, its absolutely fantastic. Difficult, and impossible to get through in oneTo Be Kind is an album unlike anything I have heard in years, its absolutely fantastic. Difficult, and impossible to get through in one sitting, but its otherwise a stone cold classic... 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. Apr 27, 2015
    10
    Michael Gira has demonstrated his ability to push musicians beyond any expectations, and over the years, Swans has become one of the mostMichael Gira has demonstrated his ability to push musicians beyond any expectations, and over the years, Swans has become one of the most respected bands when it comes to experimental music. It’s safe to say that Swans had enough records to be regarded as one of the most consistent and demanding bands these past decades, but it sounds as if Gira’s fear of death had grown to a point where he can no longer control it. To Be Kind is full of surprises, full of details. There are songs that last for over 10 minutes and one over 30, that’s not interesting until you witness how intense those are. Perfect instrumentation, Gira’s voice is immaculate and it does what The Seer didn’t, it becomes fearless and uncompromising when it has to. Sometimes the less said the better. To Be Kind is a flawless album and the best of 2014.

    Best track: She Loves Us
    Exact Score: 10
    Expand
  4. Jul 7, 2014
    10
    The musicianship the band gives with Michael Gira's beautifully-thematic and devastating approach in songwriting really gives you anThe musicianship the band gives with Michael Gira's beautifully-thematic and devastating approach in songwriting really gives you an introspective view on how the band works dynamically in the studio.

    The grooves throughout the record clearly makes this an uncompromising album ready to slam down and show no mercy to any potential rivals. Not that Mr. Gira was/or is intending to do such thing, but the fact remains that this album achieves a startling, staggering and palpable point. A definite must-have for music fans bent on experimentation in any sort of genre, especially one by a hugely underrated band like Swans.
    Expand
  5. May 13, 2014
    10
    perfect album. why does metacritic list the Quietus rating as an 8? AnyDecentMusic lists it as a 9.5, which seems much more accurate, givenperfect album. why does metacritic list the Quietus rating as an 8? AnyDecentMusic lists it as a 9.5, which seems much more accurate, given the content of the review. Expand
  6. Mar 11, 2019
    9
    To be King gets borrowed elements already known from alternative/indie, post-punk and noisy, but sounds as something different and original.
  7. Jun 16, 2014
    2
    Annoying, distant, foggy, echoing, repulsive, childish, naive. The masses are obviously flying with the Swans. I keep giving chances but afterAnnoying, distant, foggy, echoing, repulsive, childish, naive. The masses are obviously flying with the Swans. I keep giving chances but after several listens, no. Good music is not about being extraordinary and weird, it's something else. They've got their own sound, yes, but instead of feeling great, I feel like this is music for the depressed and bittered **** Grow up. You have only one life to live. Expand

See all 30 User Reviews

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