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The Burning World

4.5 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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£15.23 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details Only 4 left in stock. Sold by skyvo-direct and Fulfilled by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Product details

  • Audio CD (2 April 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Water
  • ASIN: B007152EOW
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 56,110 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Peter Uys HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 24 Mar. 2005
Format: Audio CD
The Burning World pays tribute to author Paul Bowles as is evident from titles like Let It Come Down and the mention of "sheltering sky" in the lyrics of Saved. The album is a classic by default; the artists were of the opinion that producer Bill Laswell didn't understand what they wished to achieve, hence their problematic view of The Burning World.

Still it is a work of great beauty. As far as accessibility goes, this is the one Swans work that can be enjoyed by a wide variety of people with different musical tastes - from the Leonard Cohen, Johnny Cash and Joy Division fan to those who love atmospheric rock or eastern-influenced world music sounds.

Swans gave up the ghost in the late 90s with an awesome legacy in their own albums and side-projects like World of Skin. An acquired taste, the band has on various albums explored extreme emotions and extreme music. This gentle, melodious album also has its moments of intensity like the devastating God Damn The Sun where Michael Gira out-Cohens Leonard on a tale of despair with a twirling seductive tune.
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Format: Audio CD
The Burning World pays tribute to author Paul Bowles as is evident from titles like Let It Come Down and the mention of "sheltering sky" in the lyric of Saved. It's a work of great beauty and wide accessibility, being the one Swans work that ought to appeal to musical tastes ranging from Leonard Cohen, Johnny Cash and Joy Division to the fans of atmospheric rock and even eastern-influenced world music.

The style has been called über-folk; acoustics guitars and strings - violin, viola and cello - are prominent while the tabla is one of the main contributors to the engaging rhythmic textures. Judging by the quality of the melodies, lyrics and arrangements, The Burning World is one of the most outstanding works of the 1980s.

Swans mark I disbanded in the late 90s with an impressive legacy of own albums and side-projects like World of Skin. An acquired taste, the band has on various albums explored extreme emotions through extreme music.

Their early 1980s work explored harsh industrial/extreme heavy metal sounds, then Children of God (1987) blended softness & severity whilst Love Of Life & White Light from the Mouth of Infinity (both 1991) & Great Annihilator (1995) provided powerful guitar rock and Soundtracks For The Blind (1996) investigated the drone & atmospheric electronics.
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Format: Audio CD
Back in the late 1980s, when there was precious little crossover between underground and mainstream music, how Swans were picked up by MCA on the back of intense and sometimes terrifyingly uncompromising albums like `Greed', Holy Money' and `Children of God' remains a mystery. But they were and `The Burning World', Gira's only work for a major label, was the surprising result.

Surprising in more ways than one, because although the album's predecessor, `Children of God', showed a broader musical pallet than some of the band's sparsely brutal earlier work, the richness of sound on display here is a revelation. On `The Burning World' Swans go far beyond the average rock template and incorporate a heady blend of strings, tablas, bazoukis and other exotic instruments in the mix which strives for melody as never before.

At its most successful, the album is absolutely beautiful. `The River That Runs With Love...' opens with an aching melody and wonderful violin. `Saved' is a powerful yet catchy anthem and Jarboe's vocals have never sounded better as she takes the lead on the gorgeously melancholic `Can't Find My Way Home' and `I Remember Who You Are'. The chilling `God Damn The Sun' is one of Gira's finest and a brilliant closing track.

So why, then, in retrospect, does Michael Gira apparently have little regard for the record? The answer would seem to lie in Bill Laswell's production which, in places, seems a little too bright and shiny; slick even. Also, Gira's vocals sound quite unlike those on other Swans record; forced and overly monotone for the most part. You almost get the impression that he is trying too hard to please his major label paymasters and feels that he is compromising his artistic integrity a little.
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