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Dido Life For Rent Review

Released 2003.  

BBC Review

One could pick any track off the album and place it in the sad, thoughtful scene about...

Derryck Strachan 2003

Despite the multi-million sales of her debut solo album, No Angel it's difficult to describe Dido's second album Life For Rent as long-awaited. Like other artists in her field she treads a fine line between credibility and popularity, and one feels a step in either direction could alienate those who enjoyed her first effort. But, she hasn't put a foot wrong with this album. On the positive side that means more well-crafted folk-pop tunes, on the negative side she hasn'tmoved forward.

Although Dido played a significant part in older brother Rollo's band, Faithless (whose 1996 album Reverence sold over 5 million copies), it would be misleading to say that the groups success brought her fame. For that she had to wait for her solo album and in particular the song "Thank You" which reached the global pop consciousness via Eminem's peerless "Stan". From there the album No Angel went on to sell bucket-loads.

For one with such an auspicious past, it's difficult to describe Dido as a star. It's hard to imagine there being hardcore Dido fans following her every move, and yet she does what she does very well. Like her debut, Life For Rent blends effortless melodies with seamless backing tracks. The production is perfect -every song glistens with a carefully polished sheen.

The obvious singles "White Flag" and "Stoned" are engaging to the extent that you could easily be humming along without it registering in your brain. There's something unconscious, pleasantly innocuous about them. It's comfort food for the ears, one could pick any track off the album and place it in the sad, thoughtful scene about three quarters of the way through a Tom Hanks-Meg Ryan romantic comedy.

That's perhaps a little disparaging. Thereis good, listenable stuff here, especially the edgier "Who Makes You Feel" or the comparatively funky "Sand In My Shoes". You won't be ashamed to own this or play it at your next dinner party, but one can't help wishing that there were one or two tracks with a bit more balls.

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