To Be Kind Image
Metascore
88

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

User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 263 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: 27 out of 31
  2. Negative: 2 out of 31
  1. Aug 18, 2014
    10
    Epic and big. Even though it's 2 hours longs, i didn't loose interest at one point. His voice is amazing, and the music is hypnotic andEpic and big. Even though it's 2 hours longs, i didn't loose interest at one point. His voice is amazing, and the music is hypnotic and beautiful. Clearly a 10 for me. 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. May 22, 2015
    10
    This is not music to put on in your car while you're driving around. This is music to transcend. While you can enjoy specific songs in theThis is not music to put on in your car while you're driving around. This is music to transcend. While you can enjoy specific songs in the traditional way it is much more powerful as an immersive experience. It takes an investment of time and soul I think but the ultimate payoff is worth it and has opened me up to other "music" that I found too intimidating or strange. And if you ever get to see them live DO IT! As powerful as the music is on recorded media it is 10x more effective in a live setting with all of your senses absorbing the energy. Beautiful brutality! 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. May 31, 2014
    9
    Here is my Pitchfork-esque review of To Be Kind:

    Michael Gira's thunderously godlike vocal spasms set against the deep and churning chasm
    Here is my Pitchfork-esque review of To Be Kind:

    Michael Gira's thunderously godlike vocal spasms set against the deep and churning chasm of eternity wash over in a sea of ear-popping post-rock melodies and hypnotic beats sure to induce plenty of mental breakdowns and much nightmarish dream content for the nights to come. It's as if Prometheus has returned to steal fire from Mount Olympus for the first time in a thousand years, only this time to be sucked into a time warp where Judgment Day and the Creation of the World converge into one paralyzing hour of fear and fire, awash in moral calamity."

    In other words, it's a 9 out of 10.
    Expand
  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 31 User Reviews

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