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March 31, 2014 | by  | in Arts Music |
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Against Me! – Transgender Dysphoria Blues (Review)

In keeping with this week’s theme, I’ve decided to review an Against Me! album that came out earlier this year, but that may have slipped under a few radars. Transgender Dysphoria Blues is the sixth release by the Florida punk band, and was written by lead singer Laura Jane Grace as she began her transition from male to female. Grace came out as transgender in May 2012 and was working on Blues the year before. The recording process was tumultuous, with the band reportedly coming close to disbanding, but after almost two years it finally arrived in January. The album was certainly worth the wait. Transgender Dysphoria Blues is Against Me!’s best album and one of the most honest and personal records in recent memory.

Blues erupts with the title track. It’s clear that Grace is pissed off, and she’s getting some serious angry confessions out. The standout track for the album, and a perfect opener, with Grace reeling off lines like “you’ve got no cunt in your strut” and “they just see a faggot” with vitriol and attitude to spare. The energy and anger continues through the first half of the album, culminating with ‘Drinking with the Jocks’, where Grace viciously dissects the clichés of misogynist bro culture. Listeners are finally able to catch their breath with the pared-down duo of ‘Dear Friend’ and ‘Two Coffins’, the latter a melancholic and beautiful acoustic track about death and love. The album ends with the stellar anthem ‘Black Me Out’, and feels like a proper “fuck you” from Grace to the world.

Against Me! have never aimed for subtlety. Their politically charged earlier albums attest to that, and with Blues they’ve continued that trend: creating a series of deeply personal, angry, fist-in-the-air anthems that almost everyone will be able to connect to.

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