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To Be Kind

37 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 13, 2014
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$14.10
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$14.10 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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To Be Kind + Seer
Price for both: $28.09

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Editorial Reviews

TO BE KIND


Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


Disc 1:

Samples
Song Title Time Price
  1. Screen Shot 8:04$0.89  Buy MP3 
  2. Just A Little Boy (For Chester Burnett)12:39Album Only
  3. A Little God In My Hands 7:08$0.89  Buy MP3 
  4. Bring The Sun/Toussaint L'Ouverture34:05Album Only
  5. Some Things We Do [Explicit] 5:09$0.89  Buy MP3 


Disc 2:

Samples
Song Title Time Price
  1. She Loves Us [Explicit]17:00Album Only
  2. Kirsten Supine10:32Album Only
  3. Oxygen 7:59$0.89  Buy MP3 
  4. Nathalie Neal10:15Album Only
  5. To Be Kind 8:22$0.89  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 13, 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: YOUNG GOD
  • ASIN: B00JNHR162
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,046 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By John W. Evans on July 20, 2014
Format: Audio CD
I have been listening to music seriously for more than 50 years and I have never heard anything like this album. It is exhausting and exhilarating at the same time, at once violent and soothing, and makes me feel like I am immersed in a Hieronymus Bosch painting.

On "To Be Kind", I hear primitive chanting, ghostly passages, insane cackling and other sounds that will remind you that all things are not as we see them... and all sounds are not as we hear them. There are things to be seen and heard that are buried under layers, and on this album, vocalist Michael Gira and Swans strip some of those layers away.

The band creates mesmerizing rhythms that build, fade, and blend into each other as the music swells, dies, and terrifies. The overall effect is one of desperation, bleak landscapes, and hideous hellfire from which there is no escape. This is the aural antithesis of "Christian music". This stuff is absolutely and fantastically subterranean.

If you don't like that sort of thing, stay away. But if you have an open mind for music and appreciate unique, artfully-played experimental sounds... or if you like music that by its nature compels you to contemplate existence, mortality in particular... then you may come to love this album, as I have.

I hear the unrelenting drive of "To Be Kind" telling me I'm now sucked in, and if I want to be kind fo myself, the only exorcism is to hear more music by Swans.
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful By PuroShaggy on May 18, 2014
Format: Audio CD
To argue that any album is as good as "The Seer", the Swans previous outing, is a risky proposition, but somehow someway, Michael Gira and the latest incarnation of his band have managed to match the intensity and originality of their previous two hour epic with a similar but markedly different new two hour epic.
"To Be Kind" kicks off with what could be mistaken as a Pink Floyd bass line- fluid, engaging, propulsive. Over this, Gira chants a series of one word and two word lines as percussion bangs away and guitars chime, slowly building to a climax that hints at the chaos and intensity to come, but never quite gets there. Titled "Screen Shot", this opening number encapsulates everything that works about this album: slowly building numbers, an orchestra of instruments synchronized or clashing, chaos contrasted with sparse landscapes of beauty, a hard to describe intensity conveyed through sparse lyrics.
The beauty of the opening track is that it pulls the listener in with what could be described as a more mainstream "rock" number before the rest of the album veers off into more experimental territory. "Just A Little Boy" finds Gira tapping into the Dionysian energies of Jim Morrison the singer, while disembodied voices swarm around the plodding instrumentation. The refrain of "I need love" towards the end lends the track an unsettling desperation. "A Little God in My Hands" could be mistaken for a TV on the Radio track thanks to its funk and swagger, though the bursts of noise and chanting push it into Swans territory.
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24 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Kurt_Mastodon on May 13, 2014
Format: Audio CD
If you're already a Swans fan, quit reading, go get this.

If you're new to the Swans, this is a fine place to dive in. "To Be Kind" is the third outing from the current line-up of band members. With 3 albums and years of touring, these road-tested veterans have emerged as the most cohesive incarnation of the Swans to date. And dare I say it, they even sound like a rock band now. While Swans have always been able to challenge the volume and intensity of anyone, their songs have rarely 'rocked'. They've pummeled, they've bludgeoned, and they've rejoiced, but they haven't rocked like this before. Post-rock maybe, but not rock & roll. Though this album is by no means light, I can almost hear the band enjoying themselves.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By chris on October 12, 2014
Format: MP3 Music
I have been a Swans fan since their first release and was lucky enough to see them live on the Children Of God tour. I was always disappointed that singer Jarboe left the band late in their career but the past 3 releases by the Swans has proved they are just as good or possibly better without her.This is an amazing album that is as good (if not better) as anything else they have released. Older fans will not be disappointed and new listeners be prepared to be sucked in and pulverized by this sonic wall of hypnotic and magical music. This is music without compromise. Annie Clark from St Vincent and Bill Rieflin from Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, and King Crimson ( just a few of the bands he has worked with) appears on this release. Prepare to be hypnotized!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Culture Vulture on October 9, 2014
Format: Audio CD
A lot of my recent music purchases lately have been out of admiration for older musicians and bands that are still going strong in their 50s and 60s (Johnny Marr, OFF!, David Bowie, Morrissey, U2, etc...) and while I only heard of this band recently after seeing this album at the top of a random website's top albums of 2014 list, I can see they are serious craftsmen getting better with age. Michael Gira reminds me of James Hetfield (Metallica) without all the trappings of a metal image on first impression, making music just as heavy, yet not metal. And I'm no musician but have worked around musicians setting up sound and appreciate seeing how Gira approaches it, not merely to be loud but to get the purest sound he can get. I also appreciate the spirituality of the music, at least from Gira's interviews where he can appreciate the Bible and the overall message. Maybe some people miss the point of this music wanting to label it as dark just because it is heavy sounding but I like that there are some mainstream rock musicians unafraid of spirituality. I think I heard some 'hallelujahs' being chanted somewhere in there. I can also see the comparisons to Australian Nick Cave's music, I could definitely imagine Swans doing a score to a western movie like The Proposition. Also, some of the more bass-heavy tracks bring Primus to mind, and there are a few freak-out moments that sound like The Doors at their trippiest. The only other music I can compare this to would be early PiL and maybe even Bauhaus. Really it's also like nothing else I've heard in a while. Probably not something to rock out in the the car to, but certainly an interesting sonic realm to enter once in a while.
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