Tom Gabel's decision to undergo gender transition was indeed a courageous one, and a year after becoming a woman, Gabel (erm... Grace) has released the first single off of Against Me!'s upcoming sixth studio album, Transgender Dysphoria Blues
, "True Trans". If the title gave any indication, both songs on the single are about Grace's gender transition. As Grace's first recording as a woman, “True Trans” answers many questions about how Grace would turn out after becoming female. Thankfully, she still sounds the same, and the passion in her voice is still there. The single is two acoustic songs done solo by Grace, and just that. It’s not as good as the acoustic Against Me!
EP, but Grace still manages to put on a fairly enjoyable performance, even if it isn’t much at all.
“***mylife666” is the better of the two songs on the single, with lyrics that manage to be personal while not overly in-your-face. Lines like “No more troubled sleep, there’s a brave new world that’s raging inside of me” and “I never wanna say that I regret it” are able to express Grace’s emotions about gender transition without being downright explicit. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the other song, “True Trans Soul Rebel”. It does have a catchier hook than “***mylife”, but is brought down by its lyrics, which often come across as overly boastful about the fact that she’s a woman now. “Does God bless your transsexual heart?” is so blatant that it comes off like she's bragging about her gender transition. Overall, although “True Trans Soul Rebel”’s chorus and guitarwork is better, “***mylife666” is the superior song due to its more subtle lyrical content. Both songs are decent, though, and my belief that Transgender Dysphoria Blues
will be a great album is not shattered.