Interspersed with a variety of instrumental pieces and loops which add nicely to the album's overall flow -- including a number of random interview clips which would become an even more central motif to the band's work in future albums -- Love of Life continues the astounding creative roll Swans found themselves on with White Light. As with that album, the group here consists first and foremost of Gira and Jarboe, with a variety of assisting performers: Westberg has finally left the picture entirely, leaving Steele as the new main guitarist, and interestingly enough, two long-time veterans return -- the rhythm section of Kizys and Parsons -- though other bassists and drummers perform on the album as well. Again, though, this is very much Gira and Jarboe's album, given that they're in charge of all songwriting, as well as all keyboards and arrangements, building from the newly refined combination of epic scope and delicacy of touch from White Light. The first two full songs provide a near-perfect start for Love: The title track has a quick, rushed pace and pulse, with stabs of further percussion and keyboards to provide underscoring energy to Gira's excellent singing, while "The Golden Boy That Was Swallowed by the Sea" captures Swans at their most self-consciously mythic, with a subtly descending chord defining the sweeping, string-heavy song as Gira invokes near Blakean images of crowds, shorelines, and the titular boy, laden with deceptively simple power. Jarboe's own vocals, as ever, are exquisite, investing "The Other Side of the World" and her own lyric "She Crys (For Spider)" with her beautiful, rich singing. With such further successes as the first gentle then pounding love song "Her" (combined with a poignant interview clip) and the snarling kick of "Amnesia" to its overall credit as well, Love of Life unsurprisingly proves to be yet another Swans masterpiece.
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AllMusic Review by Ned Raggett