While it may be easy to dismiss Dido as that artist whose music is commonly viewed by some as “boring”, one cannot deny the presence she has made in the music scene. Since her seminal sampled appearance on Eminem’s breakthrough rap track, “Stan”, Dido has shot to the consciousness of the average mainstream listener and introduced her own brand of music in what I could best describe as “chill pop”—underscored by ambient soundscapes that tread the line between indie folk and trippy electronica caressed with her breathy vocals.
Three albums and fourteen years later, Dido has returned in full force with her latest studio effort aptly entitled, “Girl Who Got Away”.
Her previous outing—“Safe Trip Home”—back in 2008 was a somber journey for the British singer as the sonic palate and lyrics reflected a sense of melancholia that was partially contributed by the death of her father. Now, Dido’s return sees her largely using the same tried-and-tested formula but with some new twists to make her album sound familiar and new at the same time for her loyal fanbase and new listeners alike. With assistance and production input from her brother, Rollo Armstrong (from the electronica act, Faithless), she has crafted a selection of songs that is easy on the ears while also skirting on the edges of dance music.
On tracks like “No Freedom” and “Sitting On The Roof Of The World”, Dido has made modern cousins of her signature tune “Thank You” but without the same panache that allowed such a melody to be sampled in an iconic rap song. But it is on her more upbeat, electronica-infused offerings that Dido truly shines on her new album. From the sultry trip-hop environment on “End Of Night”, the neo-reggae vibe of “Love To Blame”, to the EDM-influenced atmosphere of “Go Dreaming”, Dido breathes new life into her repertoire that is a welcome respite after a four-year absence.
Her lyrical direction on “Girl Who Got Away” remains forward and true to her style, with stories about the moodier side of love this side of Adele but with the beats leaning towards Ellie Goulding. And her experience on collaborating with hip-hop artists is featured prominently on the album: with Kendrick Lamar on “Let Us Move On” and Pete Miser on “All I See”. Both tracks give her the same street cred that she had with Eminem, though not quite reaching the heights that “Stan” had achieved.
Overall, Dido’s fourth LP is a valiant effort that hands out a strong lineup of songs suited for two scenarios: one half of the album is where you see yourself curled up in bed relaxing with a good book, while the other half is a slick soundtrack as you are preparing to glam yourself at home before heading for a night out on the city. But after listening to the whole collection in full, it ultimately becomes clear to you that Dido is encouraging her listeners to follow the second half.
After all, the name of the album clearly speaks for itself. And should you feel the need to become the girl (or guy) who wants to get away, look no further than Dido’s newest album to help you on your journey.
“Girl Who Got Away” is now out on iTunes and in your nearest record store.
Album Tracklisting [Deluxe Edition]:
01. No Freedom
02. Girl Who Got Away***
03. Let Us Move On [featuring Kendrick Lamar]
05. End Of Night***
06. Sitting On The Roof Of The World
07. Love To Blame***
08. Go Dreaming***
09. Happy New Year
10. Loveless Hearts***
11. Day Before We went To War
12. Let Us Move On [Extended Version]
13. All I See [featuring Pete Miser]***
14. Just Say Yes***
15. Let’s Run Away***
16. Everything To Lose [Armin Van Buuren Remix]
18. No Freedom [Benny Bennasi Remix]
***Must-Listen Top Picks
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