Review Summary: An album that builds on everything she had done previously, but with a much more personal and mature touch than one would ever expect from her.
Losing a loved one is a hard thing to deal with. The rush of emotions can be overwhelming and it may even feel like the hurt will never go away. We all have different ways of dealing with the pain that comes with loss, some constructive and some not so much. It seems to be human nature, though, to want to make sure that the person who has passed is not forgotten. Again, we all have our own way of ensuring that a person’s memory lives on, and with artists of any kind that way usually results in some of their strongest work. Whether that artist is a painter, poet or musician the passion seems to flow onto that individual’s pallet in a cathartic act that not only cleanses the emotions but also ensures that their loss is not forgotten.
Listening to the latest album by Dido it’s easy to feel her pain as she sings her heart out over the loss of her father. It’s easy to hear in her words all the things she might have said to him or thought to herself in his final days, and this healing act has resulted in her strongest work to date. Some might dismiss her as another talentless pop act that probably had the lyrics written for her, but that is not the case. Dido has full or co-writer credit on every song and also plays multiple instruments on the album including the guitar, drums and recorder. This really is a personal album and her fingerprints are all over it. The centerpiece of the tribute to her father seems to be “Grafton Street” which was co-written with Brian Eno. It is a smooth, warm song that is lead by a mellow electronic beat and subtle string arrangements, culminating with the words, “Nothing’s left that’s safe here now, Nothing will bring you home, Nothing can bring us the peace We had in Grafton Street
” followed by a very touching recorder melody played by Dido to close out the song.
I don’t want to try to imply that this album is bleak or entirely about her father though, because it’s neither of those things. She still covers a wide array of topics including her incredulous take on relationships on the album’s first single, “Don’t Believe in Love”, and despite the album’s mellow nature and somber lyrics it never falls into self-pity territory; the warm nature of the music ensures that. There are enough lush string arrangements, chill beats, and ambient electronic elements to keep a very optimistic feel throughout the album. Even the songs written directly to her father hide a hint of hope, despite her mourning. This makes more sense when it is revealed that most of this album was written while he was suffering through the final stages of a terminal illness. With that, every song on here seems to imply a silver lining despite how dark the clouds may seem at the moment.
If there is a positive that comes with Dido’s loss it is that she had her music to serve as a channel for her pain and thoughts. If there is another, more selfish positive to her loss it is that it resulted in the best album of her career. This is an album full of touching sentiment and vulnerable emotions wrapped in lush string arrangements, ambient sounds, piano melodies, somber tempos and touching choruses. It is an album that builds on everything she had done previously, but with a much more personal and mature touch than one would ever expect from her.
Album Rating: 3.5
I liked the first album, and thought the second was kind of sterile and boring... just to put this review in context.
Digging: August Burns Red - Phantom Anthem
I will inevitably end up hearing this, but didn't like the one song that streamed.
wait, this girl still exists on the planet?
good review, but I am just amazed that she is still making music.
dido's pretty cool
good review willie
Album Rating: 3.5
I will inevitably end up hearing this, but didn't like the one song that streamed.If you're talking about the first single, it's one of the weaker songs on the album.
wait, this girl still exists on the planet?Yeah, it has taken her nine years to release 3 albums.
good review willieThanks
Fantastic review Willie. I really mean that. Considering it is only 4 paragraphs long and the introductory one simply plays a part in setting the theme of the review up, it conveys a whole lot of information very clearly.
Being super-duper picky, it probably needs a sentence (yep, just a sentence) of a negative trait, because if I hadn't seen your rating initially, I'd be thinking you were at least giving this a 4, if not a 4.5.
Wow, that was unexpected.
I love both her records, I want to hear this.
There are enough lush string arrangements, chill beats, and ambient electronic elements to keep a very optimistic feel throughout the album .Even
Album Rating: 3.5
Being super-duper picky, it probably needs a sentence (yep, just a sentence) of a negative trait, because if I hadn't seen your rating initially, I'd be thinking you were at least giving this a 4, if not a 4.5.You might be right about that, but I'll have to add that tomorrow.
Thanks Taylormemer, that is the kind of shit that pisses me off. I spend 100s of dollars on freakin' Microsoft Word and it still can't even find an incorrect spacing???
Wow, that was unexpected.What was unexpected?This Message Edited On 11.14.08
You bought Word! Shucks. Ain't worth buying. There's also heaps of freeware imitations out there that are just as good.
Anyway, I like this kind of writing a lot better than that of some of your other reviews.
I like one or two songs from previous albums, but I find they end up sounding extremely similar.
Album Rating: 3.5
Yeah, the next time I upgrade I'm going to get iLife.
What works better on this than before?
I just find it to be more persuasive, concise and clean, as opposed to your own personal experiences, which I usually can't identify with.
Album Rating: 3.5
yeah I'm working to move away from personal experiences but older albums are too linked for me to do that sometimes. It's easier to do with new releases.
What was unexpected?
Her releasing this. I hadn't heard anything.
haha i remember in 2003 i loved some of her songs that were on Rage. i was pretty young though.
Album Rating: 3.0
Nice review. I dunno, both of her other albums had something for me, but this album just lacks it. Maybe I just haven't appreciated the subtlety yet, which I tend to do, but for now it just conveys impenetrable boredom. Lyrics are also underwhelming to me frankly, not that Dido was ever particularly strong at song writing.
Okay, not trying to be a dick or anything, but I didn't really like the review. The first 2 paragraphs sound really insincere (especially when you keep mentioning that her father died/was dying over, and over, and over again). Also saying "...than I ever expected from her" makes it seem like you have an inflated view of yourself and makes you come across as an arrogant douche. The third paragraph was good though, until you again started mentioning the death of her father. I mean, sure, it's probably a big part of this album, but we get it dude.
not trying to be a dick or anything
Why do people preface their criticism with phrases like this? It detracts from one's credibility, making him/her sound insincere, which was something touched upon in said criticism. Just have the balls to be like, "Your review sucked. Here's why:"
Also saying "...than I ever expected from her" makes it seem like you have an inflated view of yourself and makes you come across as an arrogant douche.
So people aren't allowed to have expectations now?