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Girl Who Got Away is the fourth studio album by Dido. It was released on March 4, 2013 and includes the amazing single no Freedom. Dido made it big with her album No Angel as it went multi platinum; indeed her next album Life for Rest also became a big hit with songs that were very similar to those on No Angel. Both albums feature in the top 10 best-selling albums of the 2000s in the UK The next album Safe Trip Home was a bit of flop and there are only so many times you can recycle the same sort of material, however she still had a strong fan base and her track If I rise was nominate for an academy award. As a fan, you stick with your artists through the good and bad so I was not quite ready to give up on her yet. When this last album was released I went out and bought it straight away. I had already heard No Freedom and I was impressed with it so I was eager to sample the rest of the album in the hope that it was just as good. The album went straight into the top 5; Dido is back in the game.
Some people describe Dido as boring and indeed much of her music is relaxing, mellow and folk like. She has a very soothing quality to her voice and coupled with her girl next door image; it is hard not to like her. She does not try to be anything other than a great singer and the fact she writes much of her own material makes her even more appealing. Dido describes this album as "She also described the album as a "big, fun, electronic extravaganza". This is certainly much livelier than the last albums but it still has that rich, soulful voice that gives me shivers down my back. The first track, no Freedom is deliciously raw with very voice being accompanied by a choir and lovely mellow drums. The song is poppy, chilled and it has an anthem feel about it. You can imagine hearing her play it live and everyone would sing it back to her, arms swaying. The crystal clarity of her unusual voice on this track is amazing. Girl who got away which gives the album its name does have an electro feel to it. The lyrics are a little dull on this track, I was expecting a little more. "I wanna move with the seasons / And go with the flow / And take it easy / And let stuff go." It does not have anything magical in this song for me and although I like the electro feel to the song, the lyrics and melody let it down a bit. Now the next track is brilliant and exactly what I would expect from this experienced artist. The song let us move features Kendrick Lamar and it is amazing. I really enjoy Lamar on this track, his rapping ability is fantastic and it gives the song a great urban feel. Her lyrics work well with his and the song comes together with the chorus in an eclectic way. I wonder what fans of Kendrick Lamar will think of this song, but Dido fans will be impressed. I remember when I first heard Eminem's Stan and it featured Dido's track thank you. Both worked together so well that I thought we would be hearing much more collaborations from Dido and rap artists.
Blackbird is a bizarre song and it seems to be a little too fast, the song starts jumpily and on first playing the CD I thought it was skipping! The song is then kicks in and it is a good song but with a bit of an 80s beat. It is pleasant and quite fun but rather than her going for a more modern approach to tracks, she is delving into history and using archaic beats. I do rather like it though and it works in a backdrop with the rest of the songs.
The fifth track on the album, End of Night starts with more 80's beats from an electric synthesizer but this is much more impressive than the last, it seems to be about not feeling for someone and sheltering your emotions. It does not show her voice off to all it can do, but it is a good background track. The beat is louder than her voice and she sounds a bit drowned out despite being able to really hold her own. I listen to this track but it is not one of her best. The following track is completely different to the rest of the album and it much softer, delicate and her voice takes centre stage. Her voice is accompanied only by a piano and it is a very beautiful track. The track is about being saved, being content and being in love. A pleasant song for those that are in love and happy and it would be a nice song to have at a wedding. A massive change in tempo comes with the next track and you can clap your hands to the beat. There are electro tones in the track and you can imagine swaying on the dance floor to this one. The beat to this is very sexy and slow and it even has some percussion towards the end that works well in the track, it builds up quite nicely.
Track 8, Go Dreaming starts with a steady beat, again rather 80s and it makes me think of shoulder pads, neon eye shadow and glitter ball dance floors but rather than building up to be a big dance track, the soft melody keeps to the beat and the chorus is a delicate explosion of deep baseline and bright electro beats. Happy New Year is more my cup of tea though, I love depressing tracks and this speaks of a woman who cannot get over a break up. Something we can all relate to. "I'll leave the party early / After a drink or two/ And check my phone for calls / Though I know there will be none from you." How many times have we done this? I like songs I can relate to and this is the main reason I loved Dido, I felt her lyrics said the things I felt but could not express. Many of the other tracks do not move me like this, I like something to relate to and the other lyrics in the songs seemed lacking. This is a great song, really mellow and moving. The next track called Loveless hearts filled me with hope too, the title making me think we had another depressing beautiful track on our hands and indeed we have, however this develops into an electric blipping tracks but it works. It is a cool track as it makes you want to tap your feet but the over sentiment is quite depressing.
The final track on the album holds a great deal of emotion and it looks back on love lost but it not too depressing, it sounds relaxing, birds singing, water flowing; very much like the music you would get whilst having a massage but with Dido's amazing Angelic voice floating along with it. This song makes you feel hopeful and happy. It is rather contrasting to the album at the beginning and there does seem to be a shift in the album. This song is about remembering the happy times of a relationship; before you went to war.
The album is different and the change is refreshing but in my eyes she still has not managed to top No Angel for me. That album was truly magnificent and it is ageless. This album feels a little peculiar in places, like she has tried too hard to make it different and has forgotten the reason why she is so popular; her amazing voice. Some tracks but it firmly in the shadows and it deserves more than that. I much prefer the second half of the album, the more mellow side but it does open great with No Freedom, a great anthem track. It is interesting that this album features some songs that you can actually dance to, but is this what you want from Dido? I find it easy to love this album as I really adore her voice but I hope that next time she loves the 80s electro jazziness to the 80s and we get more tracks like Happy New Year.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 No Freedom
2 Girl Who Got Away
3 Let Us Move On Ft. Kendrick Lamar
5 End Of Night
6 Sitting On The Roof Of The World
7 Love To Blame
8 Go Dreaming
9 Happy New Year
10 Loveless Hearts
11 Day Before We Went To War
Disc #2 Tracklisting
1 Let Us Move On Ft. Kendrick Lamar (Jeff Bhasker Version)
2 All I See Ft Pete Miser
3 Just Say Yes
4 Let's Run Away
5 Everything To Lose (Armin Van Buuren Remix)