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 30, 2003
I admit, Dido's music takes me a long time to warm up to. It was months after I'd heard her debut record that I finally started liking it. For the moment, Life for Rent sounds like a good effort to me, but one which is a little too content to stay in the moody, polite spectrum of music.
Even on No Angel, the tracks I loved the most were the more ferocious rock/dance tracks which contrasted Dido's whispery, restrained voice against a muscular musical backdrop -- "Hunter" and the Youth-produced rhythmic monster "Don't Think of Me" being the best examples. There is no such track here. Dido's lyrics have improved greatly, the emotional exposes of "White Flag" and "Life for Rent" being expressive far beyond the levels of any song on "No Angel". There is also no Hallmark card sentiment here akin to "Thank You" from No Angel. However, this record does need contrasting elements, shades, and quite simply, uptempo tunes to vary the pacing and enhance the effect when the slow tracks *do* come in.
Dido music has been called "coffeehouse" by some, and I think she should look into bringing in some new blood into her collaborative circle. Her music *is* on the verge of becoming easy listening, and she's proved that she is capable of more.
on October 4, 2003
While she is no Sarah McLaughlin, British export Dido does a pretty good job of trying to come close. On her new album, "Life For Rent", she continues her introspective standard. This cd seems to be a little more upbeat than her first release, "No Angel". There are several radio-friendly tracks here....especially the current single "White Flag", "See The Sun", "Sand In My Shoes", and "Don't Leave Home". "Don't Leave Home" tends to be my favorite. Her voice sounds really great on this track and the music is loud enough to give her a good backing sound. Apart from the main tracklisting, there is an extra bonus song embedded behind "See The Sun"....so make sure to keep playing after that one is over!
If the radio doesn't tire us of Dido as they did with the few singles from "No Angel", I think people will really appreciate this album....and will play it on those rainy days when they good chill-out music to match the dreary mood.
on December 9, 2003
Dido's unique haunting, angelic voice helps make "Life for Rent" a huge success. From the first to the last track there is only one dislikable song,"Stoned." I guess the reason it's so unlikable is because she tries to hard to be techno. The song is about when her boyfriend and her get "Stoned" and drunk one night, and the circumstances that follow. Here is a listing of the songs:
1)White Flag 10/10*
3)Life for Rent 10/10*
4)Mary's in India 10/10*
5)See You When Your 40 10/10*
6)Don't Leave Home 10/10*
7)Who Makes You Feel 10/10*
8)Sand in My Shoes 10/10*
9)Do You Have a Little Time 10/10*
10)This Land is Mine 10/10*
11)See the Sun 10/10*
12)(Hidden Track)The Closer You Get 10/10- The Best Song on The CD*
Dido's "Life for Rent" is probably the greatest CD I own, and one that I listen to almost everyday even though I have about 200 others!
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.