Thirty years ago, New York City institution Swans were playing grinding, murderously ugly noise. Fifteen years ago, they were playing quiet, solemnly beautiful dirges. Now front man Michael Gira, the Cormac McCarthy of rock ’n’ roll, has found a third path: the sound of a celestial sledgehammer descending. The Seer takes its time with listeners in much the same way a cat takes its time with a mouse — its 11 songs add up to almost two hours — and it’s surprisingly delicate and gentle in places. Bit by bit, though, these songs bear down and become an apocalyptic show of force.
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Top 10 Albums
- 10. Killer Mike, R.A.P. Music
- 9. Azealia Banks, 1991 EP
- 8. The Mountain Goats, Transcendental Youth
- 7. Various Artists, Listen, Whitey! The Sounds of Black Power 1967–74
- 6. Swans, The Seer
- 5. Getatchew Mekuria & the Ex & Friends, Y’Anbessaw Tezeta
- 4. Dirty Projectors, Swing Lo Magellan
- 3. Frank Ocean, Channel Orange
- 2. Kendrick Lamar, good kid, m.A.A.d city
- 1. Fiona Apple, The Idler Wheel Is Wiser than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More than Ropes Will Ever Do