Dark Universe is a new album from Australian composer, songwriter, and guitarist, Jaime Page. Jaime recently spoke with Planet Transgender about her music and her transition. It is my honor to share with you a review of the advance copy of her new album today before it hits the shelves. In a word, this album is awesome.
Jaime ’s new album is hard to classify by genre of rock, but delightful to listen to. She delivers powerful guitar chords of classic 80’s and 90’s rock alongside compelling ballads, with a rich tapestry of the rhythm and harmony of today’s modern rock. The lyrics are beautiful and evoke strong emotions as you listen to them.
Perhaps the musical complexity should not be surprising given that these tracks tell the story of Jaime’s personal journey to self acceptance and personal authenticity. Jaime is a longtime veteran of the music industry, having worked with several groups and some big names including Cozy Powell and Brian May. It is clear that her influences run from classic rock and prog all the way to new metal and beyond.
As an audiobiographical story of transition, this CD is especially powerful. It can at times bring deep emotions of sadness to the surface, but also the brightness of joy and hope. Each track takes you through a new range of emotions and experiences unique to the others. I found myself listening to the tracks again and again as I wrote this review.
‘Deepest Black’ starts this CD off powerfully. The guitar chords are weighty and haunting, as are the lyrics. As the title might suggest, this song runs through some dark emotions, and then reaches out into the light. Listening to this track through the eyes of my own transition, it reminds me of those moments of loneliness, isolation and despair prior to transition. I remember those moments when I felt I couldn’t possibly continue on, but found the strength anyhow. This sets us up for the next track.
‘XXX27’ begins us the climb out of the darkness and into the light. The music rises in pace and spirit from the previous track. ‘XXX27’ is almost frantic at times, and a little chaotic at others, but has the feel of building to a brilliant climax. If ‘Deepest Black’ was deep depression, then this track is the path to the light.
If the last track took us out of the darkness, ‘Letting Go’ seems to be a reflection on both the past, and where the future may lie. This track starts softly and slowly and builds to a solid pace with rising passion. The lyrics and the music speak to me of a calm before the storm, and a triumph over despair. You can’t help but to get “the feels” while listening to this song. It’s powerful stuff.
‘Dark Universe’ pulls elements of the previous tracks together in emotion and sound. It has soft melodic points and rich resonant chords, tied together in harmony with its lyrics. I find myself reminded of the struggles of early transition and the many messy lessons that come with that growth.
The track ‘If’ has a playful pace and sound. Clearly (to me at least) this is about self acceptance and love. Of all of the tracks, this is one of the brightest and warmest. With the emotional rollercoaster of some of the other tracks, ‘If’ lightens the mood considerably and leaves you wanting to go hug someone close.
‘Goodbye Angel’ holds the upbeat line of the previous song, and keeps the warm feels going on strong. This song seems to complete the journey out of the darkness, and into what may be an uncertain but joyously hopeful future. Magnificent!
Taken together, this album is extremely moving and fun to listen to. I found dark depths and bright highs that moved me more than I expected them to. Jaime told me to take my time and let the music sink in. These words are the key to truly experiencing this album. Given time to sink in, I found these songs pulled on the heartstrings and overall lifted my mood.
There have been trans songs and trans ballads, but this something different. This is a trans album, and it is one that very closely captures the lows and the highs of the entire experience. The songs therein dig deep into your most profound fears and sadness, grab your heart, and then lift it up and out into the light. I can’t help but to strongly suggest you go out and buy this album as soon as you can.
Dark Universe releases April 29th and Jaime Page will be performing live at the Charles Hotel in Perth Australia to celebrate the occasion.
- Deepest Black
- Letting Go
- Dark Universe
- Goodbye Angel
‘Dark Universe’ Teaser Trailer
Jaime Page / True Spirit
Jaime Page – Guitar
Donna G – Vocals
Craig Skelton – Bass & Keyboards
Michael Burn – Drums