Laura Jane Grace - 'Stay Alive'

7/10

Since coming out as trans in 2012, Against Me! frontwoman Laura Jane Grace has not only become more prolific in her work, but has also become a beacon for equality in the punk scene and beyond. With multiple studio albums, both with Against Me! and The Devouring Mothers, in recent years and her solo ventures beginning to take shape, she now looks to continue her adventurous streak as she shares her latest studio effort 'Stay Alive', a raw and stripped back collection of acoustic releases that continue the progressive venture she has been pursuing this last decade.

While her material after transitioning was unapologetically blunt and to the point when it came to her identity, over the years she has begun to feel that being trans is less about her core being, but simply a small part of who she is. So on 'Stay Alive', we hear glimmers of her personal strifes, but the majority focuses on the more universal troubles that we all face in this world today. By delivering a lo-fi and acoustic collection, we are forced further to listening to her lyrics, giving us a far more intimate and captivating record that almost allows us to look into the soul of the woman at the helm.

It may not be the most impactful offering she has released in her career, but 'Stay Alive' makes for a fresh and inviting listen that very rarely falters in its attitude or prowess. The anger and visceral energy in her music remains a constant throughout here, and shows us that even the most furious of us can still carry a vulnerable heart.

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