Leaving Meaning.

Swans - Leaving Meaning.
Critic Score
Based on 16 reviews
2019 Ratings: #305 / 757
User Score
Based on 543 ratings
2019 Ratings: #313
Liked by 11 people
October 25, 2019 / Release Date
LP / Format
Young God / Label
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swans.pair.com / Website
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The Line of Best Fit

In its bone-chilling, earnest spirit, we witness Swans maintaining a power they never lost – we see them exceeding expectations, branding themselves as a seismic force in experimental rock, and here, they continue to touch on that greatness.

The 405

Throughout leaving meaning., Swans find comfort in resting upon a cerated, double-edged sword of mood, where there are moments that see Gira perpetuate feelings of melancholy and post-rock ethereality, and other moments that entertain fiendish droning and Southern Gothic dissonance.

No Ripcord

It’s like a soundtrack to exploring some abandoned, centuries-old mansion in the middle of a desert, now filled with ghosts, lost memories, and cobwebs weaved around expensive furniture.

Spectrum Culture
It is a shockingly delicate album, to the extent that it takes multiple listens to suss out just how belligerent and tense it can actually be. Having already explored the furthest reaches of eardrum-torturing noise, Gira turns inward and finds just as much depth within the contours of his band’s new sound as he did its most overwhelming energy.
Under The Radar
The latest iteration of Gira's fierce, frightening Swans is a quieter, subtler beast perhaps—but it's no less an intense, oppressive, challenging, and magical experience than those created on vinyl by their recent "classic" lineup. Torture it may be, but it's never felt so sweet.
Sonically, Swans might well be different this time around, but some things never change. Gira’s ability to look at the world and show us how terrifying it is continues to reap rewards.
Michael Gira reshuffles his famous band’s lineup, inviting collaborators like the Necks and Ben Frost for a record that emphasizes elegiac beauty over raging catharsis.

In true Swans fashion, Leaving Meaning breaks all the rules, this time by going softer then anyone expected.

The Needle Drop

Leaving Meaning, while frequently stunning, feels more like a reiteration for Swans than it does an evolution.


In spite of my own misgivings towards Leaving Meaning., it is an admirable effort that doesn't tell us much about what the future has in store, but to make people aware that Swans aren't quite dead...yet.

Slant Magazine

Leaving Meaning is a piece of blood-spattered Americana, a haunted-house version of the fabled American dream. But while Gira is a clever musician, that doesn’t make the world he’s created here a pleasant one to visit.


Leaving meaning. is a decent album, but ultimately it sounds like a sort of reset or palate cleanser that will hopefully lead up to something greater.

“If you do not see light at the end of the tunnel, consider it an opportunity to create an opening yourself, wherever you want.” - Ashok Kallarakkal

Leaving Meaning is a new light at the end of a dark tunnel. The closing of a single chapter in a book, and the opening of another. It's one thing to be disappointed that an album didn't exceed expectations, but it's another to look past it and look forward to something new and appreciate the beauty of it all, leaving meaning ... read more
'I'm licking, I'm sucking, White nipples, while sinking'?
'Sun Fucker eats the blind'?

Yep, this is a Swans album alright.

When it comes to Swans, you really could expect anything. Like, the group at this point in their careers are so goddamn out there, weird, interesting, experimental and unique that anything they put out will at lest feel like it's an essential part of their discogoraphy. They could put out a record that's nothing but white noise and it would still have appeal inside their ... read more
Leaving Meaning might not be as explosive or experimental as the amazing trilogy of albums (The Seer, To Be Kind, The Glowing Man) that came before it, and it's not their most cohesive album yet, but even then it's amazing. I think with the massive bar they've set for themselves in the past, it's easy to see why people might be disappointed in this album. It's definitely a different album to their last few. For one, it's much more meditative and relaxed. I'd even say it's one of their more ... read more
Gosh, this is a tough one. Swans need no introduction at this point, whether or you like them or not you have to recognize they left a pretty big mark on the whole music industry, sliding in as one of the most acclaimed bands of the century. This decade has been pretty prolific for them: 4 albums released (5 with this one), most of them receiving REALLY HIGH praise. That's pretty impressive for a band with almost 40 years of existence! So, where do they go now? What place does Leaving Meaning. ... read more
Easily one of the worst swans albums
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Track List

  1. Hums
  2. Annaline
  3. The Hanging Man
  4. Amnesia
  5. Leaving Meaning
  6. Sunfucker
  7. Cathedrals of Heaven
  8. The Nub
  9. It's Coming It's Real
  10. Some New Things
  11. What is This?
  12. My Phantom Limb
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Added on: June 25, 2019