The Life You Save, the debut album credited to the name of Jackson, Mississippi-based progressive rock trio Whiteside’s Daughter, has potential to be submitted for one of the best releases to come out in 2019. A labour of love, The Life You Save is one of those rare musical efforts that manage to sound like very little else. With derivative acts a dime a dozen on the current music scene, listening to such an album can be an exhilarating experience.
Unabashedly eclectic, The Life You Save can be described as a ‘protest album’, and with very good reason. However, it is first and foremost a collection of inspired, thought-provoking compositions performed by a group of amazingly talented musicians who manage to come across as an extremely tight unit rather than a combination of over-inflated egos. When such collective talent is gathered together, the results may often be a tad underwhelming—especially when musicians forget that they are at the service of the music, and not the other way round.
Thankfully, this is not the case with The Life You Save. The impressive cohesion between the core trio in collaboration with a number of guest musicians, results in 14 tracks that display a remarkably original approach, even when external influences can be detected. While listening to the album for the first time, the closest comparison that came into my mind was with the late ‘70s progressive rock, Scandinavian Metal and Southern Rock. In contrast with the majority of prog albums released in the past year or so, The Life You Save is based on relatively short compositions that are all part of two acts (suites) clocking at a bit over 18 minutes each.
A masterful blend of mainstream sensibilities, socially-aware lyrics, intriguing atmospheres and stunning instrumental and vocal performances, this is a unique album that is warmly recommended to progressive music fans.
Get the album from Bandcamp here.