Just as The Red Line was a huge step forward in Trans Am's artistic development, their follow-up, T.A., is a dramatic step backward. While the songs on this album also feature plenty of vocals and more pop-oriented structures, unfortunately the similarities end there. An overdone, unamusingly ironic '80s fetish dominates the first half of the album, dragging down tracks like "Molecules" and "Different Kind of Love" with slick synths and affected singing. It's not until the kinetic groove of "Party Station" unfolds that T.A. begins to gain momentum, blending irony with more energy and melody than the songs before it. Likewise, "Positive People"'s taut dynamics and the brooding guitar epic "Afternight" hint at the Trans Am of old, and almost make up for the rest of the album's mediocrity. And while the atmospheric, slightly noodly "C Sick" and the driving, vocoderized "Infinite Wavelength" aren't necessarily two of the group's better moments overall, they're still some of the best tracks on this album. While one of the band's strengths is their willingness to change and grow with every release, on T.A. Trans Am changes too much just for the sake of being different.
by Heather Phares