ALBUM REVIEW: Various Artists – Songs That Saved My Life

Release Date: November 9th 2018
Label: Hopeless Records


For meaning, ‘Songs That Saved My Life’, a compilation record put together by the folks at Hopeless Records that sees its profits go to a series of mental health charities (Crisis Text Line, Hope For The Day, The Trevor Project, and To Write Love On Her Arms) is 10/10.

The idea of a collection of some of the best acts in the alternative scene picking a song that holds a meaningful connection to getting them through a tough time, and covering it, is a concept that just ticks all the boxes. As for the music, however, it’s pretty much half and half with tracks that are good, and ones which aren’t so much.

Starting with the better side, Neck Deep take the prize for best cover on the record, maybe even of the year, with their rendition of Natalie Imbruglia‘s hit ‘Torn’, which is punchy, ripe, and given a pop-punk sheen that really compliments the song itself, and Ben Barlow‘s ever-growing vocal delivery.

Elsewhere, Dance Gavin Dance‘s flamboyant cover of ‘Semi-Charmed Life’ is springy and typical Dance Gavin Dance fun, while Stand Atlantic‘s driving ‘Your Graduation’ puts a terrific spin on an already great track.

As It Is, with Patty Walters‘ forceful, angst-ridden, raspy delivery offers a delightful version of ‘Such Great Heights’ by The Postal Service, while you can’t miss out Dream State‘s magnificent cover of Linkin Park‘s ‘Crawling’.

The final fabulous moment comes in The Maine‘s attention to detail in their cover of ‘Transatlanticism’, one of Death Cab For Cutie‘s strongest songs from their discography, which concludes the album in moving fashion. When this album is good, it’s really good.

Yet, it’s not all great, and some covers do misfire a bit. It’s not that any of the songs are bad, more just that they fail to stand out as much as the ones previously mentioned.

Movements‘ rendition of ‘Losing My Religion’, Against Me!‘s ‘People Who Died’, Oceans Ate Alaska‘s ‘Shape Of My Heart’, and Too Close To Touch‘s ‘Let It Be’ all just fall a little short of the bar in comparison to the grander moments of the record.

‘Songs That Saved My Life’ is a fantastic idea for a really great cause. While some of the songs aren’t all that great, the sheer meaning of the record is worthy of listening to. Yet, what it does highlight is the unparalleled power that music has and how wonderful a thing that can be.

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