Does God Bless Your Transsexual Heart?
A lot has happened for punk staples Against Me! since the release of their last record of new material, White Crosses, in 2010. Along with splitting from their first and only mainstream record label and making some large changes to their lineup, singer and lead guitarist Laura Jane Grace came out as a transgender woman, announcing the beginning of her transition. While much of the music related to her transition and identity has been performed by Grace as a solo act, Against Me! has released Transgender Dysphoria Blues, a concept album about a transgender sex worker. This record is an absolute must-buy for Against Me! fans new and old and for anyone who has ever questioned their own identity.
The album starts with the title track “Transgender Dysphoria Blues,” a quintessential Against Me! single. With raw, unapologetic lyrics about Grace’s experience as a transgender woman, it tells listeners right from the start that this album will be one to remember. A standout track, among many, is “Unconditional Love”; catchy as any of their songs have been, this sad and powerful take on a love song is bound to be stuck in your head for weeks to come. The most recent single for this record is “FUCKMYLIFE666,” an example of Against Me!’s ability to write heart-wrenching ballads. Transgender Dysphoria Blues truly highlights how Grace’s voice and words, combined with such a talented band, will break you down and pick you back up ten times in the span of just one album.
Like any band around as long as they have been, Against Me! has definitely matured and refined their sound from the days of Reinventing Axl Rose, but they are still every bit the band their old fans will want them to be, and more. While also attracting listeners new to the band or punk in general, this record will enchant them in such a way that they’ll never want to leave. It may only be January but with its poppy stick-in-your-head tunes, incredibly well-written lyrics and beautiful vocals, but Transgender Dysphoria Blues is headed straight for the top of your year end list.