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Mojo Album of the Week: White Light . . ./Love Of Life

Swans

White Light From The Mouth Of Infinity/Love Of Life
MUTE | CD LP

Michael Gira’s early-’90s magnum opus plus its baroque follow-up, collected together in a new box set edition.

By ANDREW PERRY

AS THE 1980s receded, Michael Gira evolved Swans on from the proto-industrial kerrang of Time Is Money (Bastard), into the jaw-dropping semi-acoustica of major label debut The Burning World.

The latter’s disastrous sales for MCA only deepened Gira’s antipathy to all things corporate, prompting, on ’91’s self-released White Light…, a song called Failure – as crushing a study in despondency as any Mississippi blues.

Behind that trouser-soiling album title, however, there also lurked staggeringly beautiful (if mournfully delivered) songs like Love Will Save You and, from Gira’s then-partner Jarboe, When She Breathes.

With no middle ground between terrifying bleak-fests and hymns of romantic salvation (ie. no boring tracks), this exquisitely orchestrated double-LP is Gira’s masterpiece.

The following year’s Love Of Life upholds the biblically revelatory vibe, but, laced through with found voice recordings, lacks the sense of all-eclipsing sublimation.

©2014 | YOUNG GOD RECORDS, LLC