More than anything else this newest album by singer songwriter Jim Page is a commentary on life in the 90s. His lyrical style resembles that of Arlo Guthrie or Bruce Springstein; rock words trapped inside a folk singer's music.
Jim Page has earned a reputation as one of the wittiest songwriters in the northwest. He performs extensively and is well known to anyone who follows Victory Music (a musicians cooperative operating throughout the Puget Sound area). That reputation shows itself to be well founded on his most recent release "More Than Anything Else In The World." This album contains consistently high quality songs about the environment, love, politics, and social issues.
"More Than Anything Else..." was released nearly a year ago and some of the songs are already showing their age. "Roll Out the Red Carpet for the 90s" has turned out to be very prophetic. Page saw the storm cloud which burst over the state and nation's capitol several weeks ago. "Valdez" on the other hand, is just old news.
Straight from your local tabloid TV, Jim Page does a rip and read send up on the Holy Roman Seed or should I say the unholy Irish seed. "Bishop On The Run" is a hard hitting hard copy, hammering of the hyprocracy inhabiting the hallowed halls of the clergy. Though not one of the album's weightiest songs, it stands out for being very tightly written.
"Saratoga Billy" strikes a very deep chord for many of us who were of draft age during Viet Nam. Whether volunteer, draftee, draft dodger, or deserter we all had to face that decission and live with it's consequences. Page's song calls to mind the terrible anguish that we delt with during that time when our heroes became villians and villians became heroes.
Not to be thought a one trick pony, Jim Page works his magic on the old love song in "If You Love the Water, Let It Rain;" a charming song of renewal and reconciliation. "A Love Undone" captures one of the classic male tragedies, that of the estrangement of a father and his son. Page gives voice to the deep heartache that so defined a generation of sons, now middle aged and trying desperately not to repeat the mistake. While crediting Erin Corday with providing the hook for this song, Jim masterfully expresses.
Page and his guitar are all that appear on this album, this is not to say that that is all there is. Jim has the ability to fill the air with words that are so immediate and arresting that there is little need for additional accompaniment. The engineering and production are clean and well balanced.