Top critical review
12 people found this helpful
A kind of guarantee
on 29 March 2014
I love Michael Gira's music and I trust him completely.
The existence of this record, which is a terrible mistake he made in 1989 that I am absolutely sure he will never repeat, is a guarantee, in a way, of his future integrity.
My advice is to avoid this record, but to try to make sure that before you die you have listened to everything else he has ever recorded, as loud as is practically possible.
Somebody just marked this review as 'unhelpful', which made me realise I didn't actually explain my reasons for disliking the record.
It's the production.
The songs themselves are no doubt sound, but the imposition of lush, commercial, eighties production values has all but obliterated the qualities that make Swans attractive to me.
I actually find listening to this record makes me feel a bit queasy, as if somebody had diluted my favourite Montepulciano with Fanta.
As I say, the pieces themselves are probably sound. Gira rarely comes up with a bad musical idea. But there's no way of telling with the record as it stands.
I gather from other reviewers that Gira dislikes the record himself. It would be interesting if Swans were to re-mix or even re-record the whole album now, in the way they wish it had been done originally.
Several more people have now marked this review as 'unhelpful'. But the fact remains that I genuinely dislike this record, and others probably will too.
I've tried here to explain exactly why that is, as clearly, honestly and charitably as I can.
What more can I do? Do you want me to lie?