Girl Who Got Away
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Girl Who Got Away is the fourth album from multi platinum selling artist Dido whose No Angel and Life For Rent albums turned her into a global superstar. Featuring “No Freedom”, and “Let Us Move On” ft Kendrick Lamar, this deluxe edition features a bonus CD with six exclusive tracks.
If you were playing a word association game and Dido came up, you might be forgiven for blurting out "boring". And in some circles she's certainly acquired that reputation.
But hers is a musical formula that's proved hugely successful. Dido's No Angel and Life for Rent were two of the UK's best-selling albums of the late-90s and early 00s, earning 16 platinum discs between them.
Her third LP, 2008's Safe Trip Home, failed to match this level of success, but still entered the charts at number two.
Now 41, Dido is back with a fourth album that's reassuringly familiar. Her voice sounds exactly as you remember it, vaguely Celtic and slightly detached, and her music remains quintessentially pleasant.
Girl Who Got Away leans closer to electro-pop than before, but it's still filled with friendly melodies and plain-speaking lyrics.
At times here, though, plain speaking can mean utterly mundane. The title track begins with a series of sentiments that even Jack Johnson might think wishy-washy: "I wanna move with the seasons / And go with the flow / And take it easy / And let stuff go."
But elsewhere, Dido's approach makes her songs relatable and affecting. She sets the scene beautifully on Happy New Year, a song about a woman struggling to move on from a break-up.
"I'll leave the party early / After a drink or two," she sings glumly. "And check my phone for calls / Though I know there will be none from you."
Meanwhile, her musical choices aren't always completely vanilla. Day Before We Went to War is a spooky collaboration with Brian Eno, while Let Us Move On has beats by Kanye West's producer Jeff Bhasker and a guest rap from Kendrick Lamar.
The nicest surprise is Love to Blame: perhaps the first Dido track you could actually dance to. With its quivering bassline and bevy of electro blips, it sounds a bit like an early 80s club jam.
Admittedly, the album contains the odd soporific song like No Freedom, but these turns are outweighed by tracks with a strong tune or an unexpected hint of sadness. Certainly, there's enough going on here to make the naysayers feel guilty for blurting out that b-word.
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Top Customer Reviews
No Freedom is a great opener, and the closing track "day before we went to war" is my favourite. I doubt she will be as big as she was before now, but I really hope she enjoys making music for many years to come and carries on producing music with as high quality as this.
An incredible artist, it's great to hear some new music. Welcome back Dido.
A few tracks are instantly recognisable and you will be whistling along to them in no time, others grow on you and then there are the odd few I’m still undecided on.
The only criticism i have is the sudden appearance of a rapper in the middle of the odd track I am not a big fan of rap (so a little bias) and I find it clashes with the tempo of the song, a bit like an unwelcome advert shoved into the middle of your favourite film. So 4 Star rating but may become 5 in time.
It is in capturing a perfect balance that Girl Who Got Away shines brightest. We have warm acoustics on songs like No Freedom and Sitting On The Roof of the World (this latter track is sonically reminiscent of the gorgeous Mary's In India on Life For Rent). Elsewhere we have the pure-pop sparkling euphoria of Let's Runaway and End of Night. A wistful and contemplative dimension is taken on in tracks like Happy New Year and Loveless Hearts, while Dido's work enters into new ambient territory on the haunting Day Before We Went To War, a moving collaboration between Brian Eno and Dido.
Girl Who Got Away is fresh stuff, yet evocative of her previous works. It has the insightful and maturer perspective of Safe Trip Home, while keeping the atmospheric, captivating electronica of No Angel and Life For Rent.
I can't leave this review without mentioning the utterly brilliant standout "Black-Black-"Blackbird. Happy, bubbly and quick in the initial verses, yet ethereal and moving in the chorus. For me, this encapsulates the expertly balanced character of the frankly fantastic Girl Who Got Away.
You have not disappointed Dido. I am a massive fan and the wait was worth it. Thanks!
Six Bonus tracks for £4 extra. Seems OK, why not?
I'll tell you why not. Three of them have been remixed (or created) with rap/hip-hop style - what a juxtaposition; and not a favourable one. I have a fairly cosmopolitan taste, but it does not stretch that far. I expect most others who like Dido will feel the same.
As for the other 3 tracks, pleasant enough. But for £2 (today at least) you can buy the whole "Safe Trip Home" album. Half the money, much better spent.
As for the album as a whole, very typical Dido - mostly no surprises. The ones you hear on the radio are the best I think, but "Let us Move On" - has the hip/hop rap too - arrguhh. It's like putting vinegar in cream - what in Gods name was she thinking?
Post Script: After you have deleted the few (C) rap versions, I have realised what this (and all Dido's) albums are great for - putting on repeat on a long haul night flight - wonderfully melodic to fall asleep to and nothing jarring to wake you when you finally drift off. (This is not intended as a veiled criticism, although it will be the same reason some don't like her)
I feel really let down by Dido's latest offering. After really enjoying her first two albums, then finding 'Safe trip home' rather on the bland side, I heard the track 'No freedom' played on the radio, and thought, "this sounds rather good, maybe it will be a return to form for Dido" and waited with eager anticipation for the album to be released.
So here I am album beside me writing this review!
As I said I really enjoyed track one 'No freedom,' which it's quite catchy number, then from song two the synth electro backing starts.
Track 3 starts off ok and then... well then the rapping starts. or as I say rap with a capital 'C'
Then for most of the rest of the album it's back to more bland electro beats.
It's great that Dido is experimenting a bit more and I think this new sound would have worked well had it been on a third of the tracks say, but by about halfway through the album it just begins to sounds monotonous.
Don't get me wrong, Dido has a very pleasant voice, quite suited to the acoustic sound of her first two albums and the emotion in it we do thankfully, but briefly get to hear once again on the final track, 'Day before we went to war.' However the relentless synth & drum machine beat backing of the rest of the album just drains any remaining emotion completely away and we end up with a largely unmemorable collection of songs.
Cd 2, and I thought "Dido's chance to redeem herself" sadly not to be. I think I actually groaned out load when once again the rapping cut in.
Will this album end up down at the one of the many town charity shops our high street is now awash with since we all started shopping at Amazon? (I bought this £2 cheaper in a local independent record shop.) Maybe I'll give it one last chance!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent value, Excellent quality and excellent service. Highly recommended.Published 4 months ago by bisto
Great songs, specially love the lead single Let us move on, but there are some other nice tracks, like Day before we went to war, End of night and others.Published 4 months ago by Janez Orehek
I am a massive fan of Dido and listened to this on Spotify and decided I loved it and wanted to get itPublished 8 months ago by musicmad
I like 2 songs only on this Cd :( and i normally love DIDO songsPublished 9 months ago by Amazon Customer