"I carved your name across my eyelids. You pray for rain, I pray for blindness"

- Arcade Fire
 

To Be Kind (album) by Swans

This album At A Glance
To Be Kind
To Be Kind by Swans (2014)
Release date: 2014-05-12
Overall rank: 380th   Overall chart historyOverall chart history
Average Rating: 
82/100 (from 685 votes)
  Ratings distributionRatings distribution
Accolades: Award Top 5 albums of 2014 (2nd)
Award Top 50 albums of the 2010s (37th)
Award Top 500 albums of all time (380th)

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Swans- To Be Kind (2-Disc CD, 2014) Young God Records
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Swans bestography

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

Swans album bestography « Higher ranked This album (380th) Lower ranked (494th) »
-To Be KindSoundtracks For The Blind

Members who like this album also like: To Pimp A Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar, Good Kid, M.A.A.D City by Kendrick Lamar and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West.

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To Be Kind rankings

To Be Kind ratings

Average Rating: 
82/100 (from 685 votes)
  Ratings distributionRatings distribution  Average Rating = (n ÷ (n + m)) × av + (m ÷ (n + m)) × AV
where:
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Showing latest 5 ratings for this album. | Show all 685 ratings for this album.

Rating
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No. album ratings
Avg. album rating
 
80/100
48 hours ago
81/100
 
40/100
3 days ago
68/100
 
85/100
3 days ago
85/100
 
100/100
4 days ago
71/100
 
95/100
5 days ago
93/100

Related links: top albums of the 2010s, top albums of 2014.

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To Be Kind comments

Showing latest 10 comments | Show all 91 comments | Most Helpful First | Newest First
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Rating:  
90/100
From Kurtco
"The Seer" was a triumph, an immense sonic fresco spanning two hours where Swans could express the most abject terror, the most fragile beauty, the deep madness, the humanity, the catharsis. It's the culmination of thirty years of musical work. "To Be Kind" can not necessarily do better, right? Well, it's better. Michael Gira could convince you that he has a connection with a supreme force. How to explain that Michael Gira releases two equally impressive records in two years? An irreproachable method of work with a band of carefully selected musicians. The staggering repetition of the chords may make the average listener doubtful, but once you enter Swans' universe, the repetition becomes normal, even necessary. Personally, "To Be Kind" makes me feel something monumental, something that I have rarely felt. It can be compared to "The Seer", of course, but I would also compare it to the contemplation of the cosmos: it is a unique and disturbing beauty and an immensity that makes you dizzy and makes you feel tiny.

9/10

Best track: "Screen Shot"
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | 0 votes (0 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
Rating:  
100/100
WARNING: The latest (2018/19) batch of this vinyl from younggodrecords.com comes with an error - Oxygen is pressed before Kirsten Supine and they're both on the same side of vinyl so it isn't like it was about fitting it all on 3 LPs. It's an admitted mistake. I just ordered directly from them and got this.... :(

Still obv great album. I only came to say that, but reading some of these comments has trolled me into a retaliation of sorts, sorry for the following.

Side note: "repetitive"? it's constantly evolving. do you really think that there aren't enough beats, bass lines, or riffs to fill a whole album? because you'd be objectively wrong. yeah it's stretched out a bit in parts, but is it so hard to understand the uses of repetition in art? don't you learn that in english sometime in junior high?

"pretentious"? these guys are in their 60's, do you really think they're just trying to make you think they're smart with this? there's just no way you could understand the messages here and believe that these guys give a damn about what anyone thinks of them. do you care what 20 year olds think of you? no offense to anyone who's 20, I guess to you: do you care what 15 year olds think of you?

"unenjoyable"? yeah, because all parts of this are CLEARLY MEANT to bring you joy but they just fail to. what are you even saying? "if it doesn't bring pleasure to my ear holes, keep it away from me." really? you don't care about art at all, do you? if you're only listening to music on the petty and selfish quest to please yourself then why are you even listening to a Swans record? there's probably a reason that you can't find a single negative review of this album from someone who's paid to listen and review. they're listening from a receptive, critical, objective perspective. not to "feel good."

I'm really sorry for you if you can't find any value in this. I guess you have to be out there though, everywhere. if you weren't, then the misanthropic perspective of Gira wouldn't even exist to bring this to us. so I guess in a roundabout way I'm trying to thank the haters.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +3 votes (4 helpful | 1 unhelpful)
Rating:  
40/100
Way too repetitive, but conscious of it. There are few savory moments but it is painful to sit through the whole thing.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | -1 votes (0 helpful | 1 unhelpful)
Rating:  
75/100
From Montpejo
Standouts: Oxygen, Screen Shot

Least Favorites: Kirsten Supine, Some Things We Do
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | 0 votes (0 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
Rating:  
70/100
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Rating:  
95/100
I swear they tune every darn song to D sharp
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +2 votes (2 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
Rating:  
75/100
2nd listen: it has definitely grow on me slightly. I really do love the atmosphere and primal nature of this album and its portrayal of life and human nature etc. but as I previously mentioned, it is just too long. Some of these ideas have no need to be stretched out for 10 or even 30 minutes and would make for a lot better double album in my opinion.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +2 votes (2 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
Rating:  
85/100
Haunting, grinding, jarring... something really special going on here. If this album were to convey one human emotion, it'd be dread. Existential and nihilistic.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | 0 votes (0 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
Rating:  
75/100
I really like a lot of moments on this album but it's too hard to sit through all of it. If it was a lot shorter it would be a lot better.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | -1 votes (0 helpful | 1 unhelpful)
Rating:  
95/100
Wow. I can't say I have been more impressed and captivated for 90 mins+ since listening to Lift Your Skinny Fists. A real journey into the mind of Gira and an incredible collection of ideas. From the cycling bassline of Screen Shot to the relentless climax of the title track, there is not a dull moment. The Seer was a fantastic return to form but this is leaps and bounds above it. A real experimental bar setter.

Favourite Tracks: Screen Shot, Just a Little Boy, A Little God In My Hands, Bring The Sun, She Loves Us, Oxygen, Nathalie Neal, To Be Kind

Least Favourite Tracks: Kirsten Supine

95/100
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +1 votes (1 helpful | 0 unhelpful)

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