Whatever Happened To Dido?

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Sat, Nov 22 - 10:45 am EDT | 6 years ago by
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Whatever Happened To Dido

Now I know most of you reading this are probably now screaming at the monitor that I know nothing, and that Dido is back with a new single. But I already know all this, so my question was more about what has happened to her since she’s been away because her new song is rubbish.

I’ve had the video for Don’t Believe In Love saved in my favorites for about a month now, and have been meaning to review it. But I couldn’t bring myself to do it because it’s just not very good. So instead I find myself going on a bit of a rant about how a once great artist who released catchy song after catchy song chose this as her comeback single.

I can’t say I was ever Dido’s biggest fan on the face of the planet but I do own copies of No Angel and Life For Rent. And when they first came out, I used to listen to them quite often. They were chilled out albums to relax to but the songs had enough about them to stop them from being instantly forgettable.

And then Dido seemed to disappear for a few years. Life For Rent was released in September, 2003, five long years ago. Dido set out on a world tour and then played the London and Paris legs of the Live 8 concerts in 2005. And then that was it, nothing for years.

Dido has apparently been away working on the new album, Safe Trip Home, ever since then. The release date was put back several times before Safe Trip Home was finally released on Monday Nov. 17, 2008. And it was preceded by the first single, Don’t Believe In Love, which is embedded after the cut.

Don’t Believe In Love makes me not believe in Dido anymore. That sounds harsh but it’s bland. And to those who thought Dido was always bland, this ups the bland scale to the nth degree. It starts out really slow and boring and continues along that path for the duration.

Her voice is as soulful and haunting as ever, but instead of being coupled with uplifting lyrics and set to a memorable melody, this just meanders its way from beginning to end. Even the chorus doesn’t lift the song beyond sheer and utter boringness.

I haven’t heard the album as yet, being loath to buy it on the strength (or rather, weakness) of this track. But from everything I’ve read, the whole of Safe Trip Home carries on in this vein, and that just doesn’t appeal. I want anthems, not dirges.

There are a few possible reasons for this change of style. In the three years since she’s been away, Dido lost her father, which I’m guessing massively added to the darker, more depressive mood of the new material. It also probably explains the title.

I’m not heartless, and personal life is bound to impact on a musician’s professional life, but I like the Dido of old, and I want her back. I don’t want to listen to an album on an evening and by the end of it be considering ending it all. I personally don’t want to go out with a rope around my neck and Dido playing on the stereo.

I’m sure some people will love the new direction Dido seems to have gone in, but it’s not my cup of tea. So I ask again, whatever happened to Dido? She’s gone from being a guaranteed sell-out to a guaranteed suicide-instigator. That’s not good.

[Photo Source: From Newscom with permission]

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  • Mònica

    I totally agree with you. I own “No angel” and “Life for rent” and I love both of them (specially the last one, which I think goes far beyond magnificence), but her latest record is just terrible. I don’t know what’s happened to her, but whatever it is, it has made her go the wrong direction. I miss the old Dido too.

  • Jonny Dodds

    I am a huge Dido fan, and I was also a little disappointed when i first heard “Don’t Believe In Love”. However, I gave the track a chance, and was definately going to buy the new album the week it came out. To be honest, “Safe Trip Home” did not have much of an impact on me the first time I listened to it, but it has steadily grown on me and is within my top 5 albums of 2008. Her absence was mainly due to the death of her father, by which the album is inspired. This explains its darker, and less uplifting effect. But it is full of raw and genuinely pure emotion, which is so very rare in todays music business. All her words come from the heart. When “Life for Rent” was released, she was all over TV and radio, smiling and looking brilliant. Even with the release of “Safe Trip Home” in Nov 2008, she was nowhere to be seen in the UK. No airplay, no TV interviews, nothing. According to a few reports (of which there are very few) she is not her usual self. “Safe Trip Home” has dropped out of the charts, and will probably not be seen again. In the UK it sold a small fraction of what “No Angel” and “Life For Rent” did. I put this mainly down to the absence of a catchy, radio-friendly single, which is essential nowadays for a successful album due to downloads. So in a way, the old Dido is gone, but this has not stopped her from creating a fantastic album, which too few people have given the chance.

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