Swans ‎– To Be Kind

Genre:
Style:
Year:

Tracklist

Screen Shot 8:04
Just A Little Boy (For Chester Burnett) 12:40
A Little God In My Hands 7:08
Bring The Sun / Toussaint L'Ouverture 34:05
Some Things We Do 5:09
She Loves Us 17:01
Kirsten Supine 10:33
Oxygen 7:59
Nathalie Neal 10:15
To Be Kind 8:22

Versions (14)

Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
YG46 Swans To Be Kind(2xCD, Album) Young God Records YG46 US 2014 Sell This Version
none Swans To Be Kind (Album Sampler)(CDr, Promo, Smplr) Young God Records, Mute none UK 2014 Sell This Version
STUMM364, YG46 Swans To Be Kind(10xFile, MP3, Album, 320) Mute Artists Ltd., Young God Records STUMM364, YG46 Europe 2014
CDSTUMM364, YG46 Swans To Be Kind(2xCD, Album) Mute, Young God Records CDSTUMM364, YG46 Europe 2014 Sell This Version
YG46, TRCP-158~160 Swans To Be Kind(2xCD, Album + DVD + Dlx) Young God Records, Traffic Inc. YG46, TRCP-158~160 Japan 2014 Sell This Version
YG46 Swans To Be Kind(2xCD, Album + DVD + Dlx) Young God Records YG46 US 2014 Sell This Version
LCDSTUMM364, YG46 Swans To Be Kind(2xCD, Album + DVD + Ltd) Mute, Young God Records LCDSTUMM364, YG46 UK & Europe 2014 Sell This Version
TRCP-156·157, TRCP 156·157, YG46, CDSTUMM364 Swans To Be Kind(2xCD, Album, Dig) Traffic Inc., Traffic Inc., Young God Records, Mute TRCP-156·157, TRCP 156·157, YG46, CDSTUMM364 Japan 2014 Sell This Version
YG46, CDSTUMM364 Swans To Be Kind(2xCD, Album, Promo) Young God Records, Mute YG46, CDSTUMM364 UK & Europe 2014 Sell This Version
YG46 Swans To Be Kind(2xCD, Album, Promo) Young God Records YG46 US 2014 Sell This Version
STUMM364, YG46 Swans To Be Kind(3xLP, Album) Mute Artists Ltd., Young God Records STUMM364, YG46 Europe 2014 Sell This Version
YG46 Swans To Be Kind(3xLP, Album) Young God Records YG46 US 2014 Sell This Version
YG46 Swans To Be Kind(3xLP, Album) Young God Records YG46 US 2014 Sell This Version
STUMM364, YG46 Swans To Be Kind(3xLP, Album, TP, W/Lbl) Mute Artists Ltd., Young God Records STUMM364, YG46 Europe 2014 Sell This Version

Recommendations

Reviews Show All 40 Reviews

Add Review

Agentauto45

Agentauto45

October 11, 2018
referencing To Be Kind, 3xLP, Album, STUMM364, YG46

Side D is almost unlistenable because of the pops and clicks that were there from the beginning, the intro of Just a Little Boy has 2 noticeable bumps close to each other, the pressing is a little light, but the sound quality and packaging otherwise are superb.
HarryPalmer202

HarryPalmer202

April 26, 2018
referencing To Be Kind, 3xLP, Album, STUMM364, YG46
Locked groove on side B is still a problem. Thankfully Mute refunded me. Although the locked groove isn't a massive problem (I just drop the needle past the groove, it misses the start of the song but 99% of the album is listenable) I would recommend seeking other pressings.
Musicfreak98

Musicfreak98

April 22, 2018
referencing To Be Kind, 3xLP, Album, STUMM364, YG46

Seems like a few people have reported issues but I just wanted to throw it out there that my pressing (which was bought on release day) is damn near flawless. MPO always press good stuff and this is no exception - superb mastering (it sounds really dynamic) and playback is very quiet and clean. Not sure if there's been a subsequent identical repressing with lower quality control but I can definitely vouch for the quality of early copies.
Chalkers

Chalkers

July 14, 2017
referencing To Be Kind, 2xCD, Album + DVD + Dlx, YG46

Absolutely stunning album! One of the best sounding albums on CD that I own too. It's not an easy listen, but it's one of the band's most accessible - very rhythmic with a heavy emphasis on percussion. The vocals are used like they're an additional instrument; they have a chanting quality where the tone of voice and it's delivery is more important than the lyrics themselves. For me this is one of the best albums of this decade so far; an experimental masterpiece.
mikeydriven

mikeydriven

January 8, 2017
referencing To Be Kind, 3xLP, Album, STUMM364, YG46
Same issue here - have now returned two copies that are faulty - same locked groove problem on side B - still awaiting replacement one month later - great music - shoddy pressing and poor customer service by Mute.
Fuerstmyschkin

Fuerstmyschkin

August 8, 2016
referencing To Be Kind, 3xLP, Album, STUMM364, YG46
Today I received my second copy which is faulty. The first song on side B stays stuck in the groove. The locked groove is even visible (a small blank line). I tested it on different systems and there are others with same issues (https://www.reddit.com/r/vinyl/comments/4hm6l0/swans_to_be_kind_vinyl_lp_stuck_groove_pressing/). Will send it back.
Maybelly

Maybelly

April 20, 2016
edited about 1 year ago
referencing To Be Kind, 3xLP, Album, YG46

This is one of the best albums ever made.
It both tests and rewards your patience...and when the currents configuration disbands, it will be a sad day.
verian

verian

April 12, 2016
referencing To Be Kind, 3xLP, Album, STUMM364, YG46
Somebody had the day off, and that somebody may have nipped into town to the record shop, the same somebody may have spent a tiny bit more than they had intended to, can’t say any more than that.

What I can say though, is just how good ‘To Be Kind’ by ‘Swans’ is. It’s their 13th studio album, and the only one I own (as of today) and is a triple vinyl. I have heard it before on spotify and that’s part of the reason I bought it. Here is some stuff blatantly stolen from Wikipedia:

Upon its release, To Be Kind was widely praised by music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from critics, the album received an average score of 88, based on 35 reviews, indicating “universal acclaim”. Mark Deming of Allmusic gave the album a positive review, stating: “Michael Gira is a man unafraid to follow his muse wherever it may take him, and To Be Kind is another example of his singular vision writ large without compromise.” Anna Wilson of Clash praised the album, describing it as “Karlheinz Stockhausen’s jarring classicism, Captain Beefheart‘s twisted blues, and the industrialism ofEinstürzende Neubauten coalescing into a swirling musical miasma.” She also stated that the album is “near perfection.” Benjamin Bland of Drowned in Sound gave the album a 10/10 score and stated: “A two-hour odyssey of similar proportions to The Seer, this is an album that emphasises rather than establishes Swans’ reconfirmed position at the top of the experimental rock tree, but that doesn’t make it any less of a thrill.” He also further commented: “Now that this mission has been completed there is space for To Be Kind, and future Swans records to affirm, rather than prove, that Swans are, and perhaps always have been, the greatest rock group on the face of the planet.” Writing for Rolling Stone, Kory Grow also compared this album to The Seer as well as the 1996 effort Soundtracks for the Blind, noting how Swans’ sound has evolved so that they “don’t just crush—they hypnotize”. The Needle Drop gave the album a 10/10, making To Be Kind the second ever contemporary album to receive a perfect score from the site, after Death Grips‘ The Money Store.

Ross Horton of musicOMH gave the album a 5-star score, commenting: “Gira shows that the Swans resurgence isn’t a fluke.” Stuart Berman of Pitchfork Media praised Gira’s efforts on the album, stating: “He’s responded in the best way possible: by producing a record that, in structure and scale, is every bit The Seer ’​s equal, yet possessed by a peculiar energy and spirit that proves all the more alluring in its dark majesty.” Rory Gibb of The Quietus wrote: “By this point they’ve further coalesced into an inseparable entity: on To Be Kind we experience Swans as totality, all seething ebb and flow, crafting music that seems to breathe of its own volition.” He also stated that the album’s songs “feel more fluid and open-ended than before, expressive and rich in possibility.” Colm McAuliffe of The Skinny also gave the album a positive review, stating: “Despite the two-hour plus running time, Swans appear to be – gasp! – enjoying themselves; they’re still staring into the abyss but the abyss is no longer staring back.” He also noted that the album “displays much more diversity than its immediate predecessors.” Louis Pattison of Uncut wrote: “Yet as the name suggests, To Be Kind does feature a quality hithertorare in Swans: that of tenderness.” He also further stated: “Michael Gira is not only still moving forward, but making some of the albums of his career.”

Nevertheless, Jon Dennis of The Guardian was mixed in his assessment of the album, describing the album as “uncompromising to the point of overindulgence.”[

—————————————————

It was a bit expensive, but worth it. Oddly enough it reminds me of P.I.L at times, and at others pick a post-rock outfit at random, and a bit of Slint. To be honest it doesn’t matter much though, I love it, that IS what matters.
BoneyKing

BoneyKing

January 5, 2016
referencing To Be Kind, 3xLP, Album, YG46
My copy of this is mislabeled on the second LP; the labels on both sides read "Side Three"
Voight-Kampff

Voight-Kampff

December 9, 2015
referencing To Be Kind, 3xLP, Album, STUMM364, YG46
Excellent pressing, sounds crystal clear. Worth the price.