To Be Kind (studio album) by Swans

To Be Kind by Swans
Year: 2014
Release date: 2014-05-12
Overall rank: 242nd   Overall chart historyOverall chart history
Average Rating: 
82/100 (from 853 votes)
  Ratings distributionRatings distribution   Average rating historyAverage rating history
Award Top 5 albums of 2014 (2nd)
Award Top 50 albums of the 2010s (29th)
Award Top 500 albums of all time (242nd)
Product Details

SWANS To Be Kind 3x Vinyl LP 2014 Young God MINT w/ Poster
Condition: New

SIGNED To Be Kind 3LP by Swans (Record, 2014) VG
Condition: Used


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Swans To Be Kind (CD)
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Swans bestography

To Be Kind is ranked as the best album by Swans.

Swans album bestography « Higher ranked This album (242nd) Lower ranked (399th) »
-To Be KindSoundtracks For The Blind

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To Be Kind track list

  Track ratingsTrack ratings The tracks on this album have an average rating of 86 out of 100 (all tracks have been rated).

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To Be Kind ratings

Average Rating: 
82/100 (from 853 votes)
  Ratings distributionRatings distribution Average Rating = (n ÷ (n + m)) × av + (m ÷ (n + m)) × AV
av = trimmed mean average rating an item has currently received.
n = number of ratings an item has currently received.
m = minimum number of ratings required for an item to appear in a 'top-rated' chart (currently 10).
AV = the site mean average rating.

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3 days ago DrewHamster  Ratings distributionRatings distribution 1,58169/100
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02/16/2024 11:38 Jibb  Ratings distributionRatings distribution 1,05983/100
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02/11/2024 19:38 AAL2014  Ratings distributionRatings distribution 1,60177/100
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02/06/2024 21:09 PeterDuckling  Ratings distributionRatings distribution 25488/100
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02/03/2024 10:30 JR  Ratings distributionRatings distribution 1,05681/100

Rating metrics: Outliers can be removed when calculating a mean average to dampen the effects of ratings outside the normal distribution. This figure is provided as the trimmed mean. A high standard deviation can be legitimate, but can sometimes indicate 'gaming' is occurring. Consider a simplified example* of an item receiving ratings of 100, 50, & 0. The mean average rating would be 50. However, ratings of 55, 50 & 45 could also result in the same average. The second average might be more trusted because there is more consensus around a particular rating (a lower deviation).
(*In practice, some albums can have several thousand ratings)

This album is rated in the top 1% of all albums on This album has a Bayesian average rating of 81.8/100, a mean average of 80.4/100, and a trimmed mean (excluding outliers) of 81.9/100. The standard deviation for this album is 18.9.

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From 02/28/2023 01:02
This group are the masters at creating long, grand and rich compositions that just blow me away every time I listen to them. My one criticism is that you do need to be in the right mood to listen to Swans but when you are there is nothing better than this group. They are just simply sensational and this record might be their peak. Instrumentally, it is diverse and full of depth with there being so much for us to explore and get stuck into. The guitars are brilliant and make up the core of this release with there being some outstanding performances on a whole range of guitar types. This is backed by what is possibly my favourite part of the record which is the percussion as it is stunning and feels so unique to this group. Then we have the countless other performances and instruments scattered amongst the release which all put on a stellar show and combine to form this colossal record which feels like a monumental experience. This is one of the things I love so much about Swans and that is that their music and albums feel like they transcend music and become something else entirely. They are just so large in scale and ambition that it is tough to even compare them with other artists. Overall, this is a 2 hour demonstration of the experimentation and musical mastery of the group called Swans and it deserves all the praise that it receives.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +1 votes (1 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
From 07/31/2022 03:10
A Little God In My Hands is fucking nuts.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +3 votes (3 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
From 02/22/2022 17:46
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Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | -4 votes (2 helpful | 6 unhelpful)
From 11/25/2021 13:45
Desconstrução, reconstrução, ecos e marteladas desse processo musical! Incrível!
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | 0 votes (0 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
From 09/08/2021 21:38
Oxygen is just one of the best songs of all time!
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | 0 votes (2 helpful | 2 unhelpful)
From 09/04/2021 17:44
The deconstruction of rock. I really need to meditate on this to appreciate it fully.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +3 votes (3 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
From 03/18/2021 04:07
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Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | -9 votes (2 helpful | 11 unhelpful)
From 06/29/2020 14:36
Fav. Tracks:

- Screen Shot
- Bring The Sun / Toussaint L'Ouverture
- Oxygen
- To Be Kind
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +2 votes (2 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
From 03/30/2020 23:00
Throughout their extensive history, alternative rock pioneers Swans have made a habit of metamorphosing, trading in bone-crushing no-wave anthems for folk-inspired, religiously-tinged ballads. In 2010, Swans emerged once more with My Father will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky, another drastic change in form and direction, prioritizing prolonged excursions drenched in post-rock fueled repetition. This formula was the basis for 2014's To Be Kind, an album that championed the creative advantages of welding moments of ear-splitting fortissimo and hair-raising delicacy. Take A Little God in My Hands for example. Even the most well-traveled listeners have to be taken back by the atomic force of the horn-powered flurry that kicks off the middle of the track. To Be Kind showcases Swans not merely dabbling in a musical style unseen in their discography, but perfecting it.

The centerpiece is the 34 minute odyssey, Bring the Sun/Toussaint L'Ouverture. A track detailing a Haitian slave revolt with all the ferocity one could imagine. Incorporating horse whinnies and tribal chanting, the track dares one to ponder the music's inspiration, or even the headspace of the men crafting it. The most "straight-forward" rocker on the album is Oxygen, a song detailing an asthma attack with inertia that never ceases until the horn-soaked climax.

Rarely has an album been so visceral and so well-realized simultaneously. The frightening aspect behind it all is that it seems to flow through the band so effortlessly, almost as vessels for transcendent music powered by an unseen force. While its not a record for the conventional listener, you'd be hard-pressed to find an audiophile not displaced by To Be Kind's translucent beauty, or not horrified by its unfettered explicity. The album is simply a monolith of modern alternative music.

"May planets crash, may god rain ash, to sear our skin, to fold us in
Kneeling close, seeking hands, our blood is warm, but what comes next?"

-Kirsten Supine

Standout Tracks:

1. Oxygen
2. She Loves Us!
3. Screen Shot

Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +5 votes (5 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
From 02/24/2020 02:58
This whole record blew me away. It's an absolute masterpiece, in my top 5 for AOTD. The relentless repetition of The Seer reaches new depths on this record, whose sound I can only adequately describe as colossal. An absolute must-listen
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +3 votes (3 helpful | 0 unhelpful)

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