Album review – JAIME PAGE ‘Dark Universe’

darkuniverse_coverI’ve spent a day listening to an advance copy of Australian guitarist, composer, and musician Jaime Page’s new release ‘Dark Universe’, and I find it very hard to sum up all the feelings this album evokes: despair, happiness, hope, sadness, joy… there’s all that and more. The music, the lyrics, Jaime Page’s often astounding guitar work, and Donna G’s equally astounding vocals… When it’s all brought together, the result is an album that puts you through the emotional wringer and makes you love every moment of it: pain and joy, both.

If you read Rock And Roll’s recent interview with Page, you know that she has recently come out as transgender, and that the journey to arrive at that point – to show her real self to the world – has not always been easy. Listening to this album, you’ll experience some of that journey. As for genre… well, I don’t know. Hard rock, prog… never mind. Forget genres. This is the good stuff, regardless of what label you pin on it.

Every track is beautiful in a different way. ‘Deepest Black’ gives me chills: it’s majestically dark and heavy, full of despair and sadness, yet shot through with light and hope. Donna G’s vocals are amazing on every tune on this album, but here she is unbelievable: her voice is raw and powerful and commanding, like an opera singer, the perfect complement to Page’s guitar. The way the music seems to just soar out of the darkness before the tune fades out on a choir… wow. It left me breathless.

Jaime-Page-2
Photo by Don Benson Photography.

‘XXX27’ has a very different vibe – it’s an anthem that takes flight: powerful and confident and glorious, with an almost angelic shine to it. That angelic vibe remains on ‘Letting Go’, a quietly hopeful tune, with the vocals and Page’s guitar flying free and unafraid. This track makes me cry (it’s not the only one on this album that does that to me), just because it’s so beautiful, and because that guitar tugs at my emotions and heartstrings.

The title track ‘Dark Universe’ starts off with notes and sounds dripping like water, like darkness and light: “it’s cold here in my dark place”. Donna G’s vocals are perfect again, conveying both sadness and hope while the guitar-work twists between beautifully distorted and raw, and tenderly acoustic. It’s another stunning tune.

“If” is all love, beauty and tenderness, so exquisite that I don’t want the track to end; before the album closes out with the love, strength and power of ‘Goodbye Angel’ – “find me an angel with a broken wing”.

In many ways, ‘Dark Universe’ doesn’t just feel like an album. It feels like an epic, an opera, a movie… a journey you take, a story being told. It’s an exceptional album full of both dreams and nightmares. The release date is April 29th. Don’t miss it: this is truly a special release.

The ‘Dark Universe’ CD Launch is Friday April 29th at The Charles Hotel in Perth, Australia: get all the details on the event’s Facebook page.

Jaime Page’s official website / FacebookSoundcloud / YouTube

Tracklist:
  1. Deepest Black
  2. XXX27
  3. Letting Go
  4. Dark Universe
  5. If
  6. Goodbye Angel

Lineup Jaime Page / True Spirit:

  • Jamie Page – Guitar
  • Donna G – Vocals
  • Craig Skelton – Bass & Keyboards
  • Michael Burn – Drums

 

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6 comments

  1. I’m sorry I missed this review when you published it Maria, because I’ve missed out on many months of pleasure of discovering Jaime Page and her magnificent album. I saw that it was among your and Maria Savva’s 20 favorite albums of 2016, and thought I’d check it out, which brought me to this review.

    Like you, listening to it brings out so many different emotions. This is an incredible album, and why it didn’t receive more notice is mind-boggling. The songwriting, arrangements, instrumentals and Page’s guitar are perfection, and Donna G’s gorgeous vocals call to mind the great Ann Wilson. Finally, once again I must tell you how impressed I continue to be by your superb writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aww! Thank you so much for the very kind words! I was lucky to get a preview copy of Jaime’s album through Donna G. She’s the one who put me in touch with Jaime. I had no idea what to expect when I first listened to that album, but I know Donna has great taste… Still, I was absolutely blown away. It’s such a great album!

      Liked by 1 person

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