808s / The UK's Greatest Hits

The UK’s Greatest Hits: 32. Life For Rent – Dido


Life For Rent – Dido – 2003

First listen?:

Yes here we go. I guess you’re expecting 500 words where I lay into Dido, one of my all time least favourite artists. I can’t promise that isn’t the case, but I really did try to like her this time. I lasted at least 4 tracks of this, the second album from the UK’s most boring success story before wanting to reach for the mute button. I’ll begin with the positives. I don’t think Dido is a bad songwriter, most of the tracks here have great hooks and the production throughout is surprisingly grand and dramatic. The issue is never the songs themselves, just the delivery from Dido herself. She sounds bored throughout, whether on the biggest hit White Flag or a more uptempo song like Stoned. It’s like she forgot to get there in time to rehearse and just used the demo vocals on each song. It’s a stark contrast from the highly polished production throughout, especially on the better songs like the title track, or Sand In My Shoes. The worst moment however is her attempts to be sexy. She sounds more asthmatic than erotic on Who Makes You Feel, I felt myself cringing throughout her breathy vocal performance. I knew I was never going to become a fan of Dido after hearing a full album of hers, but I didn’t expect Life For Rent to be the horrible experience that it turned out to be. In my attempts to see the good parts of her as an artist, the singles are definitely well written pop songs, I seem to have made my ill feelings towards her even worse. We are only 10 albums into this list, but surely it can’t get much worse than Life For Rent.

Rating: 2/10

Will I listen again?: No. Please no. Don’t make me listen again.

Best Track: Sand In My Shoes

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