Dido – Girl Who Got Away

Dido - Girl Who Got Away

Album cover for Girl Who Got Away by Dido

The fourth album from British singer Dido continues her sound of dabbling in the electronica genre as she places subtle beats behind her sombre melodies and delicate voice. Girl Who Got Away is, in some cases, more electronic than previous albums though the focus tends to stay on Dido rather than the main elements of the electro sound. This limits the reach that the album could have and leaves a sense of thought behind ways the album could be better without taking anything away. Her most interesting music has been with songs that gives control to aspects other than her own vocals, which in turn give strength to her style where her vocals may lack.

The first single in North America is the acoustic-meets-beats track No Freedom, that strives to regain some of the audience Dido had when Here With Me and Thankyou were popular. No Freedom doesn’t have the yearning ambience of Here With Me or the simple relativeness of Thankyou and instead feels more neutral. Forgettable because it is so in what we’ve come to expect from Dido and her comfort zone.

Let Us Move On is one of the most ambitious tracks on the album with it’s production value that gives off an industrial droning sound bringing with it a sense of an impending end rather than a foreseeable future. Plus, the inclusion of Kendrick Lamar adds to the vastness of the sound. A different version, produced by Jeff Bhasker, from the deluxe version of the album doesn’t have the same quality and despite Jeff’s high profile over the last year, doesn’t match up to the album version.

The elements of trip-hop and electronica are what keep Dido from completely fading away. Her lyrics provide the perfect setting for great mind-filling beats and synths but she continues to hold them back. It’s the presence of those tracks that use neither for their foundation that prevent her from being more than a singer who sits on the sidelines while songs like Blackbird and End Of Night keep the album afloat and keep Dido from being completely removed from the music she originated from. She hasn’t walked the line between soft pop and electronic but rather jumps back and forth and it’s that confusion and lack of consistency that continues to hold her back. Three stars

1. No Freedom
2. Girl Who Got Away
3. Let Us Move On [featuring Kendrick Lamar]
4. Blackbird
5. End Of Night
6. Sitting On The Roof Of The World
7. Love To Blame
8. Go Dreaming
9. Happy New Year
10. Loveless Hearts
11. Day Before We Went To War

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