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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A real grower
This late 80's offering from one of America's most original and humourous songwriting talents may not shine upon first listening but it merits 4 stars as it is truly a "grower".
Unusually for Zevon this album is heavy on the synths but they provide a modern sounding polish to his tales of urban living. Networking examines this 80's yuppy byword with Zevon's customary...
Published on 10 Sep 2003 by 9ftneil

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Review of Warren Zevon- Transverse City
Buy this album for one of Warren Zevon's greatest songs- "Splendid Isolation". A classic song from a much underrated singer-songwriter. There are 2 or 3 other good tracks as well such as "Networking" and "Run Straight Down". Overall, this album is not as strong however as other albums released by Warren Zevon around this time such as "Sentimental Hygiene" and "Mr Bad...
Published on 20 Oct 2010 by ReadML


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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A real grower, 10 Sep 2003
By 
9ftneil "9ftneil" (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Transverse City (Audio CD)
This late 80's offering from one of America's most original and humourous songwriting talents may not shine upon first listening but it merits 4 stars as it is truly a "grower".
Unusually for Zevon this album is heavy on the synths but they provide a modern sounding polish to his tales of urban living. Networking examines this 80's yuppy byword with Zevon's customary satirical wit:" I'm doing lunch all over town". Similarly Gridlock sees Zevon raging at this modern traffic malaise; "I feel like going on a killing spree". Down In The Mall pokes fun at shiney consumerism with a touch of credit card fraud thrown in for reality: "We'll put it on a charge account we're never gonna pay".
Other highlights are the sardonic Splendid Isolation where Zevon wants to live like Michael Jackson in Disneyland as long as he doesn't have to share it with anyone else. Then there's the marvellous dumb rock of Turbulence with Zevon namechecking Gorbachev and the Afghani mujahaddin in a tale of a "poor boy" bewildered by the rapidly unfurling world of communism.The relentless synth rock of the title track provides the backdrop to Zevon's litany of modern social disintegration where humanity is the "witness and the victim" of a world preoccupied by the "double helix" and the "test tube mating call", a "narcoleptic dream" set to the "hum of desperation".
Featuring guest performances from such luminaries as Jerry Garcia, Jack Casady and Neil Young this album shines with Zevon's humanity throughout and despite the subject matter it is a suprisingly uplifting album. Only Zevon could make a dark satire about our Orwellian hi-tech world and make it alternately humourous and touching without losing any of his bite.
At first brittle and rather cold sounding for a Zevon album it reveals more layers with repeated listening and is definitely a "grower".
A must of Zevon fans, a curious suprise for those with a passing interest and a strange but compelling starter for those yet to experience one of rock's most beguiling and black humoured satirists. Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Serously underrated, 12 Jun 2011
This was the first Zevon i ever listened to, and boy did i realise how much i'd been missing over the years! I immediately went out and got his entire back catalogue!
This is a stunning album with some blistering songs on it. The Long Arm Of the Law is a cracking tune about cops, Gridlock has to be the first song about traffic jams! "I feel like going on a killing spree!!!" He proclaims!
Best of all is Splendid Isolation, about a guy who wants to be alone. The Lyrics are genius! "Michael Jackson in Disneyland, don't have to share it with nobody else, lock the gates Goofy take my hand, and lead me through the world of self..!"
As usual with Zevon albums there's always a nice ballad, and 'Nobody's in love this year' is gorgeous!
Transverse City is a great and underrated album, but i guarantee you pick up ANY Warren Zevon album and you'll want all his other stuff as well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Review of Warren Zevon- Transverse City, 20 Oct 2010
Buy this album for one of Warren Zevon's greatest songs- "Splendid Isolation". A classic song from a much underrated singer-songwriter. There are 2 or 3 other good tracks as well such as "Networking" and "Run Straight Down". Overall, this album is not as strong however as other albums released by Warren Zevon around this time such as "Sentimental Hygiene" and "Mr Bad Example". A sadly missed artist.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A concept for stressful living, 17 Aug 2006
By 
D. J. H. Thorn "davethorn13" (Hull, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
The straggly-haired Zevon on the cover of this 1989 album looks like a character from 'Wayne's World'. He also seems to step out of his usual soundscape into a nighmarish futureworld awash with synth rhythms, though the songs are about the pressure cooker of the contemporary urban environment. Musically, this works surprisingly well. The opening half of the album is pretty powerful, particularly the first three tracks which run into each other. The concept feel is broken by 'Turbulence', which takes the view of the Russian soldier in Afghanistan who feels forgotten in the new age of glasnost and perestroika.

With 'Splendid Isolation' at the start of side two, Zevon goes back to a more familiar style, complete with harmonica and this song for the recluse is one of his more memorable. The rest of the album continues in his usual rock vein, until the closing poignant ballad that comments on the effect of fast, modern living on relationships.

'Transverse City' may be a big sidestep from Zevon's usual style but it's right up there with his best releases.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rediscover this forgotten treasure, 13 April 2005
By 
Andy Clare (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Transverse City (Audio CD)
If, like me, you are going through your back catalogue of Warren Zevon albums since his untimely death, I really urge you to reappraise "Transverse City". My recollection is that this was somewhat dismissed at the time of it's original release for being an overproduced concept album - and decidedly uncool. Perhaps Zevon's singer songwriter star was beginning to fade along with others of that generation (Jackson Browne, J.D Souther, the various C, S, N and Y members etc) but this second album on Virgin Atlantic (after he was ditched by Asylum)is full of all the sardonic wit, bile, self-deprecation and astute social observation that we had come to expect from this hugely underrated writer.
WZ seemed to embrace the whole West Coast soft rock ethos and inject it with real edge. I think he may have been described as the Sam Peckinpah of the genre and rightly so. Even his tender love songs had a sinister or dark undertone somewhere in them. His characters are mercenaries, assassins, serial killers, drug dealers, addicts and social misfits. If the Eagles defined bland, inoffensive AOR, then Zevon invented it's edgy, disturbed hybrid (perhaps he was a disciple of Randy Newman).
On this album, he looks more at social alienation, questioning the benefits of an increasingly computerised and frantic urban lifestyle. "Splendid Isolation", "Gridlock" and "Down In The Mall" are full of wonderfull observations, injected with humour and as topical now as they were then. The guest musicians include all the usual West Coast mafia plus members of Little, Feat, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, Hot Tuna, with Gerry Garcia, David Lindley and even Chick Corea enjoying little cameo's. Our own Dave Gilmore adds stunning guitar work to "Run Straight Down" to transform it from being almost a dirge to a highly evocative mantra (The song would have fit quite well in a Pink Floyd set). Neil Young, who had contributed the fabulous guitar solo's to "Sentimental Hygiene" from the previous album of the same name, returns for a muscular workout on "Gridlock" and adds harmony vocals to the catchy and infectious "Splendid Isolation". But don't be put off by the all-star cast. The big names never detract from the focus of the album or overshadow the lyrics.
If you've not yet discovered Zevon, this album may be one you come to a little later after you cut your teeth on "Excitable Boy" - often considered his best work. Nonetheless, this is a really good album and will not disappoint.
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Transverse City
Transverse City by Warren Zevon (Audio CD - 1990)
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