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Dido - Still on My Mind (Album Review)

Monday, 11 March 2019 Written by Jacob Brookman

For Brits of a certain age, Dido’s music represents a particular sense of time and space. The late ‘90s was a period of intense, outward-looking optimism and, though the brilliance of Britpop was fading, even easy-listening pop acts like Dido seemed to have a high degree of creative integrity.

Little wonder, perhaps, that ‘Still on My Mind’, her fifth album, dutifully channels that sound. Produced in part by her brother Rollo (one third of Faithless), it is a record of electronic balladry, melded together by that unmistakable, honeyed vocal. It lands directly and familiarly, and should please fans old and new.

That said, there are few stand-out tracks. Give You Up is probably the best of them, combining excellent songwriting with held-back production plus neat and tidy vocal arrangements.

There is also Hurricanes, a song of pleasant patience that has a lo-fi melody and a decent breakbeat drop. And, though these moments do not get close to the pop dynamite of Dido’s early catalogue, they do provide an excellent foundation for her vocals.

One of the most recognisable idiosyncrasies of Dido’s voice is her capacity to drop out seemingly halfway through a line, only to deliver the final syllable and remind us that the note was always there. It’s a motif that, combined with minimal vibrato and skilful falsetto, makes for a very pleasant listen.

As a result, ‘Still on My Mind’ is a good easy listening pop album, but too often it lacks innovation. Take You Home is a good example of that shortcoming. It’s essentially a dance ballad with magnificent choppy chords and a soaring hook, but you feel its ‘90s house production could be handled with a lot more interest. When the songs are less well conceived, like Some Kind of Love and the title track, the record really drags.

Dido Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Sun May 26 2019 - GLASGOW Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
Mon May 27 2019 - DUBLIN Olympia Theatre
Wed May 29 2019 - MANCHESTER Albert Hall
Thu May 30 2019 - LONDON Roundhouse
Fri May 31 2019 - LONDON Roundhouse
Thu November 28 2019 - BIRMINGHAM Arena
Sat November 30 2019 - GLASGOW Armadillo
Sun December 01 2019 - DUBLIN 3Arena
Tue December 03 2019 - MANCHESTER O2 Apollo
Wed December 04 2019 - BRIGHTON Centre
Thu December 05 2019 - IPSWICH Regent Theatre
Sat December 07 2019 - SHEFFIELD City Hall
Sun December 08 2019 - LONDON Eventim Apollo

Click here to compare & buy Dido Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

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