Dido - Life For Rent
As difficult second albums go, they don't get much tougher than this. Dido Armstrong's 12 million-selling debut made her, incredibly enough, the bedsit queen of her generation - but can she produce the goods a second time? Amazingly enough, the answer is a qualified yes - Life For Rent is no masterpiece, but it has the same kind of sweet, unassuming, girl-next-door charm that made its predecessor such a smash hit. A little like the musical version of Bridget Jones Diary, Dido documents the trials and tribulations of the modern single woman, with songs here abut such subjects as trying to catch men's attention, realising you and your boyfriend aren't really compatible and the difficulties of a holiday romance. The music is hardly any more adventurous, meanwhile, a downbeat concoction of unobtrusive beats, acoustic guitars and mournful strings. It's all completely unchallenging, but then that's the whole point - this is the aural equivalent of a warm bath, and often just as relaxing. It's also on the bland side, of course, and you wonder how long it will be before Dido's sheer ordinariness will begin to grate. But this will do fine for now.
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