(Originally published in the San Diego Troubadour in 2017. Used with kind permission).
The aspect of Page’s singing that grabs me is the way he varies his emphasis, line by line, never losing the golden tone but seeming to sense how a change how a line is sounded, waxing poetic with a quivering warble on one image and then undercutting his own regret with an ironic aside by lightening his approach, lifting his voice up to an optimistic pitch. It is, over and over, Page’s theme that we’re wedded to the past and cannot forget who and what we have loved and lost, but those memories cannot be allowed to turn us into bitter and grouchy layabouts.
More than once, he declares the fundamental lesson that our experiences make us who we are and that there is nothing to do but go on and embrace the life that unfolds in front of us. He is, of course, and speaking for himself and his own fanciful recollections and insights, but the songwriter-songwriter is so adept at his craft and presentation that there isn’t a hint of self-pity. Page is a fatalist, perhaps, but he is not a defeatist.
The album’s title, So It Goes, is a refrain from Kurt Vonnegut’s novel, Slaughterhouse 5, repeated at various points when the story’s events undermine the vain philosophies of the protagonists; despite plans and preparation, life itself upsets one’s agenda and puts one in a position to reflect and rethink and create a reason to get back in the game.
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