Ezra Furman - Transangelic Exodus (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Ezra Furman

Transangelic Exodus (2018)

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Ezra Furman's past two records are criminally under looked, off-kilter pop rock. But new album Transangelic Exodus is unlikely to be confused with anything else in your music library. His songs are narrative in the vein of a singer songwriter, but delivered like he’s about to lose everything. His band the Visions (formerly known as the Boy-Friends) are happy to follow him off the beaten path. (Check out drummer/percussionist Sam Durkes on "Compulsive Liar" and "The Great Unknown.") There’s very little here that constitutes a traditional rock sound.

Transangelic Exodus is Ezra Furman’s On the Road or Thelma & Louise. He describes the album as “a queer outlaw story,” or to go even further, “I’m in love with an angel, and a government is after us, and we have to leave home because angels are illegal, as is harboring angels.” Nothing shows that better than “Driving Down to L.A.,” which could soundtrack any runaway story since the 80s. It’s almost western sounding but delivered with his unrivaled passion. The same goes for “Come Here Get Away From Me.” However, it’s closer “I Lost My Innocence” that delivers the sweetest punch—the coming out origin story of the journey. 

Even without buying into the otherworldly elements, Transangelic Exodus is a rare example of a concept album that hits on so many personal levels, including Furman’s Judaism and sexuality. On “Maraschino-Red Dress $8.99 at Goodwill,” Furman cries, “I don’t think I’ll be showing up at synagogue at quarter part seven” and on “Come Here,” “I believe in God but I don’t believe we’re getting out of this one.” There is an internal struggle in Furman and it’s fascinating to hear. Transangelic Exodus is easily his most ambitious album but, for him, feels like a natural progression, seeing him find new ways to open up.