Most people have forgotten about Transverse City, mostly because it was released in the time period between Zevon's early success (thanks to Lawyers, Guns and Money, and Werewolves of London) and his somewhat re-emergence after his battle with cancer made everyone remember who he was. That's a shame, too, cause this bizarre concept album is actually an awesome recording.
The first two tracks are overproduced 80s phenomena that best capture the oversaturation/stimulation that the album was trying to convey. The lyrics speak of the futuristic Utopia Transverse City, and its matching Dystopia right outside the borders. I think the thing I like best about Run Straight Down is the backing voice spouting out chemical names, providing a rhythm track.
Long Arm of the Law and Turbulence are classic Zevon. Snide political talk over poppy songs. Following them, Zevon goes back to the big production of the firt two tracks on the album with They Moved the Moon. It's a slow, bizarre sound, that is just awesome.
Splendid Isolation was the single from the album, and while I usually think the singles are the least interesting songs on albums, this one is a great exception. The three tracks that follow are almost just as good, with Networking probably being the first pop song written about computers, Gridlock capturing perfectly the road rage most of us have felt at one time in our lives, and Down in the Mall being a great ditty about buying shit that we cant afford.
Transverse City has a different sound than most of Zevon's work, but his unique style still carries through.