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Swans|The Beggar

The Beggar

Swans

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Swans' 2019 album, leaving meaning., felt like a reset after the reunited band spent the better part of the decade making transcendent and extremely physically demanding music. Moving away from punishing, crescendo-heavy noise-rock epics, the more acoustic-based leaving meaning. focused on ruminative, hypnotic mood pieces and ethereal folk-rock, sometimes resembling Michael Gira's more singer/songwriter-style work as part of Angels of Light. The Beggar is yet another two-hour studio album, and its roster of musicians consists of several previous Swans and Angels of Light members as well as returning guest Ben Frost. For the most part, The Beggar builds on the sound of leaving meaning., though Gira is clearly interested in pushing the band into weirder territory again. "The Parasite" is a grand drone-folk opener, with Gira nearly bellowing into open space over slow, patient movements. "Paradise Is Mine" is a steady crawl that gradually gains layers of swooping background vocals and slightly more dissonant guitar patterns, with Gira eventually asking, "Is there really a mind? Am I ready to die?" He seems to continue questioning his mortality on "Michael Is Done," bookending a heavenly Phil Spector-goes-Krautrock instrumental midsection with directly stated, enigmatic proclamations. "No More of This" is a gothic country ballad that leads up to a glimmering choral procession, with Gira bidding goodbye to lovers, friends, and family members. The brief "Los Angeles: City of Death" is the album's most concentrated burst of energy, while longer pieces like "The Beggar" work their way up to more intense sections. All of this leads up to "The Beggar Lover (Three)," a 44-minute collage that recalls Soundtracks for the Blind more than any other Swans release. The piece incorporates horn-based drones, mesmerizing vocal chants, playful children's singing, dissonant creaking noises, and fluid, spacious rhythmic sections. It's Swans at their most abstract, yet it holds together as a cohesive, enthralling journey. Surprisingly, final song "The Memorious" isn't a more balanced comedown but a furious burner filled with apocalyptic poetry and unnerving squeals and moans. A definite improvement over leaving meaning., The Beggar is a riskier yet more successful effort that feels like a step in a more fulfilling direction.
© Paul Simpson /TiVo

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The Beggar

Swans

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1
The Parasite
00:08:27

Ingo Krauss, MixingEngineer - Swans, MainArtist - Michael Gira, Composer, Producer

2023 Young God Records LLC. under exclusive license to Mute Artists Limited 2023 Young God Records LLC. under exclusive license to Mute Artists Limited

2
Paradise is Mine
00:09:23

Ingo Krauss, MixingEngineer - Swans, MainArtist - Michael Gira, Composer, Producer

2023 Young God Records LLC. under exclusive license to Mute Artists Limited 2023 Young God Records LLC. under exclusive license to Mute Artists Limited

3
Los Angeles: City of Death
00:03:29

Ingo Krauss, MixingEngineer - Swans, MainArtist - Michael Gira, Composer, Producer

2023 Young God Records LLC. under exclusive license to Mute Artists Limited 2023 Young God Records LLC. under exclusive license to Mute Artists Limited

4
Michael is Done
00:06:08

Ingo Krauss, MixingEngineer - Swans, MainArtist - Michael Gira, Composer, Producer

2023 Young God Records LLC. under exclusive license to Mute Artists Limited 2023 Young God Records LLC. under exclusive license to Mute Artists Limited

5
Unforming
00:05:55

Ingo Krauss, MixingEngineer - Swans, MainArtist - Michael Gira, Composer, Producer

2023 Young God Records LLC. under exclusive license to Mute Artists Limited 2023 Young God Records LLC. under exclusive license to Mute Artists Limited

6
The Beggar
00:10:15

Ingo Krauss, MixingEngineer - Swans, MainArtist - Michael Gira, Composer, Producer

2023 Young God Records LLC. under exclusive license to Mute Artists Limited 2023 Young God Records LLC. under exclusive license to Mute Artists Limited

7
No More of This
00:06:55

Ingo Krauss, MixingEngineer - Swans, MainArtist - Michael Gira, Composer, Producer

2023 Young God Records LLC. under exclusive license to Mute Artists Limited 2023 Young God Records LLC. under exclusive license to Mute Artists Limited

8
Ebbing
00:11:04

Ingo Krauss, MixingEngineer - Swans, MainArtist - Michael Gira, Composer, Producer

2023 Young God Records LLC. under exclusive license to Mute Artists Limited 2023 Young God Records LLC. under exclusive license to Mute Artists Limited

9
Why Can't I Have What I Want Any Time That I Want?
00:07:38

Ingo Krauss, MixingEngineer - Swans, MainArtist - Michael Gira, Composer, Producer

2023 Young God Records LLC. under exclusive license to Mute Artists Limited 2023 Young God Records LLC. under exclusive license to Mute Artists Limited

10
The Beggar Lover (Three)
00:43:51

Ingo Krauss, MixingEngineer - Swans, MainArtist - Michael Gira, Composer, Producer

2023 Young God Records LLC. under exclusive license to Mute Artists Limited 2023 Young God Records LLC. under exclusive license to Mute Artists Limited

11
The Memorious
00:08:38

Ingo Krauss, MixingEngineer - Swans, MainArtist - Michael Gira, Composer, Producer

2023 Young God Records LLC. under exclusive license to Mute Artists Limited 2023 Young God Records LLC. under exclusive license to Mute Artists Limited

Resenha do Álbum

Swans' 2019 album, leaving meaning., felt like a reset after the reunited band spent the better part of the decade making transcendent and extremely physically demanding music. Moving away from punishing, crescendo-heavy noise-rock epics, the more acoustic-based leaving meaning. focused on ruminative, hypnotic mood pieces and ethereal folk-rock, sometimes resembling Michael Gira's more singer/songwriter-style work as part of Angels of Light. The Beggar is yet another two-hour studio album, and its roster of musicians consists of several previous Swans and Angels of Light members as well as returning guest Ben Frost. For the most part, The Beggar builds on the sound of leaving meaning., though Gira is clearly interested in pushing the band into weirder territory again. "The Parasite" is a grand drone-folk opener, with Gira nearly bellowing into open space over slow, patient movements. "Paradise Is Mine" is a steady crawl that gradually gains layers of swooping background vocals and slightly more dissonant guitar patterns, with Gira eventually asking, "Is there really a mind? Am I ready to die?" He seems to continue questioning his mortality on "Michael Is Done," bookending a heavenly Phil Spector-goes-Krautrock instrumental midsection with directly stated, enigmatic proclamations. "No More of This" is a gothic country ballad that leads up to a glimmering choral procession, with Gira bidding goodbye to lovers, friends, and family members. The brief "Los Angeles: City of Death" is the album's most concentrated burst of energy, while longer pieces like "The Beggar" work their way up to more intense sections. All of this leads up to "The Beggar Lover (Three)," a 44-minute collage that recalls Soundtracks for the Blind more than any other Swans release. The piece incorporates horn-based drones, mesmerizing vocal chants, playful children's singing, dissonant creaking noises, and fluid, spacious rhythmic sections. It's Swans at their most abstract, yet it holds together as a cohesive, enthralling journey. Surprisingly, final song "The Memorious" isn't a more balanced comedown but a furious burner filled with apocalyptic poetry and unnerving squeals and moans. A definite improvement over leaving meaning., The Beggar is a riskier yet more successful effort that feels like a step in a more fulfilling direction.
© Paul Simpson /TiVo

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