In 2003, the radio introduced me to Dido as her album Life for Rent hit the airwaves. "White Flag" became a favorite song for my then 2-year old daughter and we'd sing it together in the car nearly every day. Her particular variety of lightweight beats and folky songs appealed to us both.
As I heard more of Life for Rent, I came to appreciate more of the songs and listen to the lyrics behind them. It took a while to grow on me, but now it's there permanently in the soundtrack of my mind.
With Safe Trip Home, Dido again hits the airwaves with "Don't Believe in Love," which has almost a rock/blues vibe but still stays in that safe zone with lightweight beats and folky, story-telling lyrics. But beyond the fact that she plays more instruments on this album than her previous two, I have to say that it just blends into the background for me.
Some of the tracks have more of an energetic beat, but all of them tend to blend into the background as if it was more of a way for work through her own sense of distance from the world after her whirlwind tours, the death of her father, lost loves, and so on. It feels to me too much like she's singing away from me and not to me this time around.
Not that Life for Rent was much more positive, but at least there was a landscape to that album that kept me engaged. I dug through the beats and sultry, soft voice to get at the meaning behind the songs. Safe Trip Home for me hasn't drawn me in the way the last album did.
That said, it's not a bad album at all. It shows Dido's trademark gift for writing brooding, soft songs with a beat hasn't wavered. And it does groove along well enough. Perhaps after a few more chances, it will grow on me.