Many people will know of Dido because hers is the haunting vocal that is featured in 'Stan' by Eminem. In fact… well he sampled her song 'Thank you'… and the rest is History. Dido is the sister of Rollo Armstrong, the dance producer and one of the main creative forces in Faithless. She's classically trained and has that certain breathy quality to her voice that makes record producers wet themselves… think Tracey Thorn (Everything But The Girl), Beth Gibbons (Portishead), Brianna Corrigan (Beautiful South), Beth Hirsch (female vocal on Air's 'Moon Safari') - … and at this moment in time she's massive in the USA but perhaps yet to reach such levels in her home country.
Though this album is VERY oriented toward commercial success, I think it would have been so much better if it had been produced by one overall person, and preferable someone with a gritty sound…maybe Dr Dré, like Eminem, or perhaps one of the Wu Tan Clan…whatever….. As it is, though her voice is lovely, the music is really lacking in vision…. Commercial producers just working to pay the rent, patting each other on the back because the vocals sound great, but believing that that is enough…. The album has its moments…. The fourth track 'My Lover's Gone', who's opening vocal is featured on the 'Sunday 8am' album by Faithless, is just as haunting and beautiful as the one that begins 'Thank you', and sits over some great Faithless-ish production to make my favourite song on this record. (It WAS co-written by Jamie Catto!). The Eminem-sampled track, * 'Thank you'* begins with THAT haunting vocal…. but then it goes major key and saccharine eeeeek!!!, The Portishead-ish 'Honestly OK' and the bluesy 'My Life' are both good and a few songs, like 'Slide' and Isobel' have nice moments… but if there is ever an opportunity to have an overproduced lush chorus on this album… well unfortunately the producers have jumped on in there with* both* feet. The rest of the songs passed between my ears without registering, unfortunately. I think she could potentially be really good, but it all needs to be closer to the bone, grittier, and with a coherent vision and big idea covering the whole record…. Whether that involves Dido writing music on her own or choosing a more edgy co-writer… well I don't know…. But as it is… well, if you've played Air's 'Moon Safari' and Massive Attack's 'Mezzanine' and Madonna's 'Ray Of Light' to DEATH, you cannot take another drop and need something different then you could similarly use this as a record to put on to relax to after flogging your guts out at work…. It is certainly relaxing and soothing… like a hot bath in fact…
4Chris Nettleton's Score