on October 26, 2003
In her follow-up sophomore album to her hit debut album, Dido's become comfortable enough with her voice to carry the melody, relying less on the background instrumentation that was so prominent on "No Angel" and letting her soft-spoken tones flow through.
"White Flag" was a strong single to help launch promotion for this album, the familiar background luring old fans back, the music video's presence of Angel's David Boreanaz a second motivating factor, yet it's not truly reflective of the overall ambience of the song. In many respects, her second single "Life for Rent" is a better beautiful demonstration on how Dido's branched out more and begun to emphasize her voice, the slightly breathy yet warm and rich sound.
Some amused cynicism has crept into her music, her lyrics echoing her sly wit and amused status on songs such as "Stoned" , "Mary's In India". Clearly relaxed with her writing style now, a rather positive aura exudes from this album, her comfort flowing in my personal favourites "Don't Leave Home" and "See the Sun". The latter, in particular, has a great drum beat and hits a homey note that leaves you contentedly working, with your toe tapping along.
Dido incorporates a different, more modern rhythm with an unsettling vibe at first on "Who Makes You Feel", echoed slightly on "Do You Have a Little Time" which becomes more familiar with several listens. As if apologetically compensating for the new style, "WMYF" is followed up immediately by "Sand in My Shoes" which is a more traditional-Dido style song, possibly the most upbeat with a quick tune which brings a flavour of bubbly pop with Dido's usual eloquent lyrics.
Admittedly, "Life for Rent" may not have the same pop-associated tunes that "No Angel" had in spades, but with a more mellow ambience, her new album shows Dido growing up and learning that her voice is a stunning presence on its own. Her lyrics are as beautiful as ever and if Dido continues in this vein, her demographic audience will probably grow up well with her. A great album worthy of the chart rankings it's raking in, you can wait in anticipation to see what she pulls off next.
on November 11, 2003
Although I liked her "No Angel" album better, "Life for Rent" is pretty good. Her voice is subdued and airy and aside from the hit single, "White Flag", I loved "Who Makes You Feel"...It has a bluesy/jazz element to it and is very sensual. The beats in all her songs are great and her music is enjoyably minimalistic. She proves that sometimes less is more. A great singer and a great album!
on August 18, 2004
I gave this CD 4 starts instead of 5 because there are a few songs that are too slow and kinda boring, but the CD is good overall.
1. White flag: one of the best on the album, really like it. 10/10
2. Stoned: another very good song, the beat is excelent. 10/10
3. Life for rent: this is a nice song, a cool meaning. 9/10
4. Mary`s in india: kinda slow, but it gets better after a few listens, not much music in this song, my least favorite. 6.5/10
5. see you when you`re 40: I still don`t know all the words to this song, but i know some of it and it`s a pretty good song. 8/10
6. Don`t leave home: the 2nd single, and an excelent song! I can`t see why anyone whould not like this song, it`s one of the best on the CD. 10/10
7. Who makes you feel: I really like this song, it`s different then the rest on the album, an easy sing along and just a cool song. 9.5/10
8. Sand in my shoes: This one is a little faster then the rest and it sounds really good, cool music around the middle when she`s not singing. 9/10
9.: Do you have a little time: I love the lyrics in this one, (why do you still run when you could walk with me life will pass you by when you move this quickly) great song! 9.5/10
10. This land is mine: her voice shines here, an awesome song. 10/10
11. See the sun: this song is beautiful, no one could sing it like Dido, another excelent song, Very relaxing. 10/10
there`s a hidden track after see the sun, about 2 minutes after and it`s a very nice song/ending, so there you have it, buy the CD, you won`t regret it.
on July 6, 2004
I loved Dido's first CD, and I didn't know if she had it in her to make a terrific sophomore album. Well, Dido proves here that she has the talent to stick around for years to come. Every song works here. The best thing about Dido is that her songs are deceptively simple. She tackles some pretty dark themes, and you don't really notice that until you listen to the album over and over. "White Flag" was a great choice for a first single. It shows that Dido is one of those artists who is able to sing about her shortcomings in a relationship rather than blaming someone else. There are so many good songs here, and it is for that reason alone I think you should buy this album. Dido is here to stay, and it'd be too bad if you didn't pick up this very good album.
1)White Flag: a really good song.
2)Stoned: I love the beat.
3)Life for Rent: I love the meaning behind the song.
4)Mary's in India: a great showcase for her voice. The ending is a little surprising.
5)See You When You're 40: another really cool song.
6)Don't Leave Home: one of my favorites.
7)Who Makes You Feel: I love the way her voices builds on this song. The beat is cool too.
8)Sand in my Shoes: you can tell she really feels this song. It's very good.
9)Do You Have a Little Time: another good song.
10)This Land is Mine: another good showcase for her voice.
11)See the Sun: this song is a great way to end the album. Very uplifting and terrific. One of my favorites.
HIDDEN TRACK: a really good, simple song. It takes a while to start, so don't turn off your CD player.
This is a really good CD. I highly recommend it.
on July 3, 2004
I remember hearing "White Flag" for the first time, and thinking, oh please, if I hear this song one more time, i'm going to cut my ears off lol. I heard the song, but I wasn't "listening" and taking it in. Well, I thought I hated the song, then I started singing along with it, and I was like WOW, this is a tough song to sing, but her voice is really soft and deep and different. So of course this song became like my favorite song, then I seen the video, and was like wow, she just looks plain and all, but she's very pretty, and I thought wow, I should buy "Life For Rent", and I did.
It takes me awhile to get used to a cd, so I listen to it at night in my headphones when I go to sleep, which it's the perfect cd to do that too, I'm not saying it's boring, it's just soothing and nice. My favorite track is "White Flag" of course, but I do skip it a lot so I dont get sick of it, they still play it on the radio a lot. I love the "extended" beginning on the cd though, you don't hear that on the radio. My other favorites are, "Who Makes You Feel" and "Sand In My Shoes" I love the chorus on that one. There is something about "Mary's In India" that grabs my attention, it keeps your attention to really listen to the lyrics. I like the chorus of "Life For Rent", and "Don't Leave Home". The Bonus track is nice too
"This Land Is My Land", is probably my least favorite, and the other songs are "ok". All and all it is a pleasant album to listen to, Dido's voice is very soothing. I do wish she would of recorded a few "upbeat" songs. I don't own "No Angel", but I am going to buy that soon.
I give LIFE FOR RENT 3.5 stars out of 5.
on July 1, 2004
I like to listen to music with my young daughter, so the lyrics at the beginning of Stoned came as a momentary surprise to me LOL. Now I'm just sure to program the cd player to skip that track when she's listening. I love the intricate melodies of this cd and layers of sound... the only song I routinely skip myself is "What makes you feel", the one with the sample of the guy saying "yeah" in it over and over, that grates on my nerves immediately. though my eight year old finds it utterly hilarious and always wants to play it anyway.
But there are so many gorgeous songs on this cd that I can't help but love it...Life for Rent, This Land is Mine, Don't Leave Home, and of course White Flag are songs that I am happy to play on a loop, each one, for a long while to really soak in all the different instruments and of course Dido's mellow, soothing voice. See the Sun immediately felt, the first time I heard it, like the photo negative of Ben Jelen's haunting "the setting of the sun" which is interesting to me since he said in an interview once that he loved this cd. He's another artist definitely worth checking out if you like Dido.
Anyway, I love this cd, its been in my discman for days now with no signs of letting up. It's not as an emotional experience for me as Afterglow by Sarah McLaughlan, but it's moving, beautiful, and there is far too little music like this out there today. Bravo, Dido. Can't wait for your next one.
on June 24, 2004
"Life For Rent" is absolutely a strong album that may communicate a more deeply personal expression than "No Angel". The title track offers listeners a philosophical and somewhat whimsical reflection of the value of this life according to Dido's seemingly extensive experience. "White Flag" is a lovable song with a heavy message of conviction and emotion, and who can help but sing along? "Sand In My Shoes" has a very catchy tune with lyrics that make listeners want to be where Dido is. A few of the songs have a moody, somber tone. Without having researched the story behind the lyrics, I imagine that a few of the songs were written in response to a period of mourning for a lost friend. "See The Sun" brought tears to my eyes as it outlined Dido's urging for her friend to feel "lucky that [he] knew her at all" (presumably, the "her" in question has passed away.)The combination of the music and the words in this song work together to elicit feelings of empathy and courage in its listeners. The ending music can be profitably compared to the end of Simon and Garfunkels "The Boxer", which only adds to its authority and effectiveness. "Do You Have A Little Time" has a groovy tune that may find its listeners unconsciously swaying side to side, always an enjoyable side effect of good music.
This album does not, in my estimation, have the same attraction that "No Angel" does. "No Angel" gave us the unforgettable "Here With Me", the overplayed but eternally delightful "Thank You", and the amazing bonus track "Take My Hand", which still has the power to give me chills. Perhaps some of my bias toward "No Angel" lies in the fact that it was our introduction to the inimitible voice and charming style of the now famous Dido.
As a whole, "Life For Rent" is entirely worthwhile. Its message is thoughtful and refreshingly contemplative, and its music is memorable and beautiful. This album is another fine example of Dido's strength as a writer and a singer, offering us a solid reminder of the glory that was "No Angel" and an eager anticipation of her future albums.
on June 17, 2004
What can I say? Dido's newest CD "Life For Rent" is an absolute hit. It's different from her debut album "No Angel", but in a good way. Like myself you will want to listen to this CD every second of every day. Every single one of her songs are incredible, but the ones that take the cake are "Sand In My Shoes" and "See The Sun" "See The Sun" is my favourite song of hers, and if you wait about 3-4 minutes after its done you'll hear a ghost track called "Closer" "Closer" is an amazing love song and I know it'll be my wedding song! "Life For Rent" really showcases Dido's talents. She has amazing vocals and she's also really good at song writing. She is just drop dead gorgeous. She's my hero, role model, mentor, and idol. I have so much admiration and respect for this lovely and talented young woman. I swear that if you don't like Dido and you listen to this CD you'll become a fan. She is an all around talented person. I attended her concert and it was awesome. This CD is great for all your moods, whether it be anger, heartbreak, or love. It will be hard not to listen to any other CD besides "No Angel" The follow up to her first album is a complete sucess. There will never be another Dido Armstrong. She is the best and most talented singer in the history of music. I recommend this CD to anyone, Dido fan or not. You'll enjoy it anyday anytime. Now if you'll excuse me I must go put in "Life For Rent" in my CD player and listen to it. Dido, if you ever read this...I LOVE YOU! You're the best. Remember, don't forgot to buy this CD whenever you have the chance. If it cost $100.00 it be worth it. Good-bye everyone. YAY Dido!
on June 16, 2004
This is a very solid album. The first nine songs maintain a consistent level of quality, and "White Flag" is one of the best songs of the year--a poignant reflection on lost love and the unwillingness to let go. The sinking ship is the perfect metaphor for so many reasons: it implies the singer's dedication to her love by evoking the image of the captain who won't leave his ship behind, but also implies that she was the one keeping the relationship running in the first place and probably couldn't--and can't--do anything to save it.
Dido uses the setting sun to great effect in "Mary's in India," another standout song. Standing for the difference in time between Mary and her lover, Danny, back in Britain, and also for the emotional shifts that take place over the course of the song, the sun metaphor looks, in the lyric book, like it pushes the delicate boundary between cleverness and shlock--but Dido's delivery carries the day, and the song itself lands clearly on the safe (and sonically pleasing) side of the line.
The last few songs drag a bit--particularly "This Land is Mine," a mistake in tempo at track 10 on what is otherwise a nearly flaw-free CD. "See the Sun" sets things to rights, and the bonus track is an acoustic--and very pretty--love song, perhaps the most sincere and heartfelt on the album besides "White Flag."
Dido's songwriting remains strong on this album, and her classical training informs a musically interesting work that occasionally slips into sounding too much like itself by maintaining the same mid-tempo beat for much of the album. Nevertheless, that feel suits the songs, and as a result Life For Rent is just as strong as No Angel , if a bit more consistent and lacking an obvious second single. Here's hoping she releases "Stoned" to radio--it has the best danceability on the album, and people will love the title.
on June 15, 2004
How did I miss hearing about Dido before? This is wonderful stuff! Would that half of us come up with such beautiful and poetic expressions from a deep depression after a romantic breakup. Dido also has an unusual blend of sound. A sexy, sultry voice over a soulful beat with ethereal high notes in the background. The actual music is better than this brief description reads.
"White Flag" is the radio single most of us have heard and it gives you a big clue to what this CD is like. One by one each song adds another part of a story of a woman whose love has left her-but she is not ready to let him go. Indeed, she can't. We are told of desperation ("Stoned"), hopeful pleading ("Don't Leave Home", painful memories ("Sand In My Shoes") and that unexpected period where acceptance alternates with black helplessness ("See The Sun").
This album would be disturbing if it were not so beautiful. When love walks away and all hope is lost of ever getting them back, the whole world is coming to an end. There is no "snapping out of it". All that can be done is to ride it out. Sounds to me like Dido was lost for quite a while. This is one of the most deep and human albums to come our way in a long time.