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CD Reviews: Dido
Dido: Life For Rent
January 2004
By: Ami Lieberman
album cover of Dido's Life For Rent

When we last heard Dido Armstrong in her debut CD, No Angel, she was a bitter girl, lost in angry relationship woes. The majority of songs on her first album dealt with a cheating boyfriend or self-conflictions. However, when confronted with her newest release, Life For Rent, we no longer see a girl: we see a mature woman who has finally found her strength.

The first single, White Flag, is a perfect transitional song from the previous album. She bravely sings that I wont put my hands up and surrender / There will be no white flag above my door / I'm in love, and always will be, proving that somewhere in the last four years, she has learned how to deal with the complications love has to offer. No longer will we find Dido curled up on her bed weeping; now she is willing to fight for her passions.

One thing we can admire about Dido's newest musical exploration is the fact that she isn't as stuck on love as she once was. While a few of the tracks are concerned with relationships, Life For Rent finds her questioning other aspects of her persona. The title track, Life For Rent, portrays Dido as any other girl in her twenties: struggling to find a place, literally and figuratively, in this dispassionate world. She questions her existence while singing While my heart is a shield and I won't let it down / While I'm so afraid to fail so I won't even try / Well how can I say I'm alive.

Dido combines her signature beats with sweet melodies, reflective lyrics, and a gentle voice reminiscent of Sarah McLachlan. Life For Rent is a must-buy.