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3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
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on 6 March 2004
Dear Dido and shoppers.
Congratulations and well done are hardly worthy words of an amazing follow up to your first album, which was such an oasis in an otherwise overwhelmingly commercial market, leaving little room for the individual artist. It is not just the voice, lyrics or musical accompagniment - it is the combination. And may I say, it works for very few, but for you it really does.
In my humble opinion, it was absolutely right to continue along the same vein as "No Angel". Many of us are tired of hearing, or should I say subjected to, the efforts of marketeers, the rollercoaster approach of seeking the holy grail, forever changing the formula to see what can generate the next hit.
I get the distinct feeling you write for yourself, and express what you feel, always with a very strong link to something from your own life. Whether we like it or not, this creates a uniqueness, so rare today.
I hear critics urge you to change, spend the money, dress the part of a successful artist, behave like the rest. I really hope you don't, there are enough people doing just that - boring, predictable, unsophisticated in all its falseness and pretense.
"White flag" and "life for rent" have been widely played on the radio, but why have excellent songs like "who makes you feel" and "sand in my shoes" been relatively rarely played. These are brilliantly written and performed, absolutely true to the first album's style of fairly slow but intensely rythmic as well as atmospheric. The album in fact creates an ambience only a few seconds into the first grooves.
There are few albums I treasure, which are so closely linked to an individual, who they are and what they stand for. I see honesty and integrity here. Pure in so many ways.
If you as a shopper have not yet heard or experienced the pleasure of this young artist, there is hardly a better place to start than here. I wish there were many more like you Dido, music overall might become just that bit more pleasant, and not as often happens, end up in some sort of assault on your senses, political or otherwise views. This album is not reflecting a dark side, merely the many facets of the lives we live. And finally, should there be audiophiles amongst you, this album is superbly produced, enabling top class sound reproduction. Brilliant work.
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VINE VOICEon 12 November 2003
It seemed to me there were two large groups of people waiting quite keenly for the release of this album. Gathered together in one corner sat Dido's large contingent of fans, desperate for a new batch of songs. Lurking with intent in the opposite corner were the hordes of Dido-bashers, eager for a new reason to rant and rave again. Indeed, with the release date looming, some couldn't stop themselves from jumping up and down and screaming "coffee-table-music" at innocent passers-by. Having realised how wrong the bashers were about "No Angel", Dido's first album, I was one of those looking forward to this album. I have no doubts that people will continue to criticise - on the basis of this album, however, they will continue to be wrong.

The connection between Dido and Faithless continues with this album. Rollo, Dido's brother, and Sister Bliss had both contributed to "No Angel". Dido then returned the favour by providing lead vocals on "One Step Too Far", a single lifted from the band's "Outrospective" album. Now, with "Life for Rent", Rollo features strongly with a number of co-writing and co-producing credits while Sister Bliss plays on four of the tracks.
The album starts with four of its strongest tracks. The first and third tracks are "White Flag" and "Life for Rent", the album's first two singles. Sound and style wise, I don't think either would have sounded too far out of place on "No Angel". However, "Stoned", the second track, is something of a surprise in comparison. There's a slight change in sound, less acoustic and more of a keyboards-driven song. At first, I wasn't sure what to make of it but I'd now consider it to be the best of the bunch. Lyrically at odds with the nice-girl-next-door image Dido seems to have acquired, it's definitely a grower. The fourth track, "Mary's in India" is the first on the album to combine the keyboards and acoustic elements of the previous songs. "Sand in my Shoes", found later in the album, takes the same approach - both songs are quite simply excellent. There is also a hidden track - called, by the sounds of things, "The Closer You Get". It's one of those really pleasant, mellow, acoustic numbers Dido does so well.
So much for the "difficult" second album - I'd say this one surpasses "No Angel".
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on 20 October 2003
Having heard White Flag on the internet I was very keen to listen to the new album. At first, being used to No Angel, I wasn't sure that I liked the change of direction. However Life for Rent is one of those albums that grows on you each time you listen. The lyrics are complicated and yet flow with the music and the subjects strike a chord - Sand in my shoes is a perfect example. Buy it - as long as you have a normal CD player .....
I tried to play this on my PC the other night and couldn't work out why it was stuttering and skipping. And then I realised it was the copy protection - BIG mistake BMG. So now I can only listen to this music in one room of my house, not at work, on the move, just where you tell me - we pay for this album so I think we deserve better than that! It would have got 5 stars....
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on 9 September 2003
After a stunning debut album, written and recorded in absolute anomousity, it's almost impossible to come up with a competitive follow-up. Most other sing&song/writers failed completely before (alanis morissette, jewel, ) so for Dido again the pressure was extremely high.
I just heard the album and believe she really managed to prove otherwise. The album is sweeter and more rollo-influenced than 'no angel'. The songs are less angry and show the more 'angel' side of Dido. Dido got a bit older, a bit more serious and the songs and lyrics can tell. Top tracks are the titletrack 'life for rent', singe 'white flag' and 'see you when you're 40'.
Just like 'no angel', this is a record that should be in each ones collection..
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on 1 October 2003
Great music, shame about the copy protection. Don't buy this if you want to listen to it on a Rio/iPod or other similar portable music device.
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on 22 April 2004
I really just love this album... i've had it since it immediately came outbut only decided to review it recently after being captured and totallytaken by the song "Don't Leave Home". This song almost makes buying thealbum worthwhile as far as i'm concerned, so having tracks like "WhiteFLag" and "Life For Rent" on as well is an enormous plus.
Dido's voice still sounds like that of an angel and it really helps pickmy mood up no matter what condition i'm in, happy or sad... moral stillgoes up!!
I can't wait for her third album, so those who don't own her second yetshould sacrifice the money for this
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on 12 April 2005
I, like millions around the globe,have waited quite a while for Dido's second offering,and it was definitely worth it ! Dido's music has reached a completely new level.Her debut album 'No Angel' was heavily influenced by Irish folk and Celtic music,and it was her treatment of them that made the album so unique and enjoyable. But 'Life For Rent' showcases a new sound,something few e thought Dido could come up with: her own! Yes,this album is 100% unadulterated,unassuming,unbeatable Dido.'White Flag' kicks off the album,and needless to say,this song is the best Dido ever wrote.'Don't Leave Home' is an extraordinary song,and haunts you for a long time after it is over.'Sand In My Shoes' is a track that everyone will enjoy,especially those who like dance tracks. The title track sounds fantastic,and very much like the songs on Dido's first album.The rest of the album is just pure pleasure-the pleasure of knowing that you are listening to a musical genius.And yes,Dido's vocals have improved significantly.All in all,a real classic ! The ones who don' possess this are missing out on something really wonderful.
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on 15 January 2004
I haven't fully made up my mind about this album yet, so my rating is based mostly on the tracks that have had airplay and the copy protection.
If you liked No Angel you'll almost certainly like this. None of the music is a great departure from her first album, and if anything lacks a little of the relative (for Dido) edginess of some of the first album - most of the tracks have a similar feel. Standouts for me are White Flag (the populist vote), This Land Is Mine and Don't Leave Home.
The biggest downer about this album for me, like so many others here, has got to be the copy protection. I own about 100 CDs, all copied onto my computer, which is where I listen to most of it. I don't even own a CD player (though the DVD player takes up some of the slack) so a CD which I can't rip is a CD I refuse to buy. If you, like me, object to having the record industry dictate to you the terms under which you may listen to the music you have just paid for, then don't buy this album in the UK. Buy it from the US - even with transatlantic postage costs it's only a couple of quid more expensive (so long as you avoid the £18 limit for customs duty on the import). Copy protection is a waste of time, anyway - there's always the analogue input, isn't there - and rendered irrelevant if one region gets unprotected releases anyway.
The treatment of the UK by the predominantly American publishing companies in cases like this is backward, arrogant, insulting, hypocritical and ultimately futile. Tell them what you think of copy protected CDs - don't buy them. Buy regular CDs, rip them, and then listen to them when, where and how YOU want.
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on 29 September 2003
I already had 9 of the 11 tracks downloaded through the Internet. Anyway I wanted to have the full album and bought it today. When I drove back and put it into my car stereo it didn't play! So I drove back to return it and get my money.
I really like Dido and I love her music but with this try by the record industry to prevent me from listening to it wherever I want it the record industry disqulifies itself.
So I will get the missing tracks somewhere else but I will not buy this CD as long as there is this copy protection.
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on 11 October 2003
I would have rated this CD higher but the copy protection features built-in severly limit the times and places I can listen to it. Yes, that matters - music is an experience, not a physical good. Record companies like BMG really just do not get it. If they are going to dictate how and when the fans are able to enjoy music, they are going to lose the piracy battle. Musicians should walk away from deals that require their music to be played on old CD stereos.
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