CD REVIEW: JAIME PAGE – Dark Universe
29 April, 2016
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
Western Australian guitarist Jaime (nee Jamie) Page’s debut solo album will forever be entwined with her coming out as transgender: indeed, she has admitted that her acceptance of her inner self was integral to this new music flowing out of her.
It shouldn’t be, though: that revelation and her ongoing gender reassignment treatment has the potential to overshadow the beauty and grace of this epic album that is about overcoming adversity and being true to oneself.
More progressive and overtly melodic than her previous work with Black Alice, Trilogy, Cozy Powell, Angus McDeth or Black Steel, Dark Universe features the stellar contributions of vocalist of Donna Greene and True Spirit’s Craig Skelton, Michael Burn.
To single out songs from a piece of work that is more a total composition than a collection is difficult, but note must be made of two.
All who’ve been touched by the Black Dog will be moved to tears by opener Deepest Dark, which features a crushingly heavy riff and a sense that the journey starts here: in the depths of despair, with only a sliver of light shining in.
Letting Go sends chills down the spine with its brightness, Greene lending the vocals all the oomph and gravitas of ‘80s-era Heart. It’s a hit, no questions about it, if such a thing still existed for independent rock music.
Dark Universe is a rare piece of art: intensely personal to its creator, it is open to adaptation and interpretation by its listener, whether it is as a collection of great guitar rock and pop songs, a personal guide through their own dark trials, or a glimpse into someone else’s. However you take it, this is undeniably an important work and a wonderful listen.
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