Dido – Still On My Mind (Album Review)

Dido – Still On My Mind (Album Review)

The angelic-voice and faced singer known as Dido released her debut album, No Angel, relatively quietly in 1999. However, in the year that followed, Dido became a household name after the American Rapper/Hip Hop artist Eminem’s single “Stan” went to number-one on the United Kingdom’s music charts. The chart-topper “Stan” contained a sample of Dido’s single “Thank You,” which consequently catapulted to becoming also a worldwide hit, reaching number-three on both the United States and the U.K.

Born on December 25, 1971, in Kensington, London, England, Dido is now regarded as one of the female luminaries of the contemporary British Pop music scene. After her successful debut, four albums followed—the Trip-Hop-flavored Life for Rent of 2003 and 2008’s Safe Trip Home, 2013’s Electropop-styled Girl Who Got Away, and the latest, Still On My Mind. Released on March 8, 2019, on BMG Records UK, Dido’s fifth displays once again her love of Folk as well as of Hip Hop and Electronic Dance Music.

Still On My Mind opens with the eerie and entrancing buildup of “Hurricanes,” which is founded on steady guitar plucks and subtle Electronica orchestration. The slow, piano-led “Give You Up”—the album’s first single—follows next in smooth transition. The mood and the beat change drastically with the ensuing “Hell After This”—a minimal, graceful Dance tune, back-boned by a drum loop and effectively made organic by the acoustic guitar plucks and a combination of strings and horns. The lyrically provocative “You Don’t Need a God” follows in the same pulse and heartbeat—waving, undulating, and thematically inspiring.

“Take You Home” then takes the listener further into the dance floor, conjuring images of sweaty-skinned couples cutting into the hazy smoke caused by the fog machine there in the laser-lit discotheque. The ensuing “Some Kind of Love” returns the album to its acoustic Folk predisposition, only to bounce back into its hypnotic, trippy mood as the title track plays next.

After rendering the playful, tuneful, upbeat, and cheery “Mad Love,” Dido then delivers the piano-oriented Baroque Pop “Walking By,” whose cascading and icy rhythm may remind the initiated of Enya’s “Orinoco Flow.” Then there is the soulful, spacey, and loungy little Dance tune called “Friends,” reminiscent of some of Everything but the Girl’s similarly styled tracks, like “Missing,” in particular.

Second-to-the-last track is the subtly pulsating “Chances,” in which Dido’s silky and breezy voice floats gracefully in the air. Finally, Dido concludes her latest album with a proper slow ballad—the impassioned and anthemic “Have to Stay.”

Dido took six years before she was able to come up with a new album, and it is worth the wait. Still On My Mind illustrates again the singer’s clear musical direction. All the elements that made Dido’s music compelling, in both simple and complex ways, are present as always. Not only her old fans but also enthusiasts of well-woven Folk/Dance music should thank Dido for yet another future favorite. Thank you! Cryptic Rock gives Still On My Mind 4 out of 5 stars.

Purchase Still On My Mind:

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aLfie vera mella
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Born in 1971, in Metro Manila, Philippines, aLfie vera mella is a healthcare worker, singer/songwriter, and editor/writer. He was the frontman of the ’90s-peaking Philippine Alternative Rock / New Wave band Half Life Half Death, which released a full-length album and several singles on Viva Records. aLfie worked at Diwa Scholastic Press as an editor/writer of academic textbooks and supplementary magazines, focusing on Science & Technology and English Grammar & Literature. In 2003, aLfie migrated to Canada; he has since been living in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He works full-time at a healthcare institution, while serving as the associate contributing editor of Filipino Journal—a local community newspaper in Winnipeg—tackling Literature, Languages, Cultures, Lifestyles, and Music. aLfie has been a music journalist since the mid-’90s for various print magazines as well as websites. He started writing album reviews for Cryptic Rock in 2015. In 2016, aLfie published Part One (Literature & Languages and Their Cultural Significance) of his Essay Series, Can You Hear the Sound of a Falling Leaf?; in 2021, his first book of poetry, Pag-íhip sa Dáhon ng Kahápon [Blowing Leaves of Yesterday]. In his spare time, he enjoys reading books and listening to music. aLfie is a dedicated father to his now 13-year-old son, Evawwen; and a loving husband to Kathryn Mella, who herself moonlights also as a writer aside from holding a degree in Bachelor of Arts, Major in Sociology.

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