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Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Dido : Girl Who Got Away review

ADELE and Emeli Sand√©. Great though they may be, you just can’t escape them – they’re everywhere.

And that’s something which brings a smile to the lips of Dido Florian Cloud de Bounevialle O’Malley Armstrong – Dido to you and me.

She’s been there, done it, got the t-shirt. A British songbird who was huge in the States, thanks to Eminem sampling her on megahit Stan.

But at the height of transatlantic fame Dido quit to have a baby and start a family. She took a five-year break which finally ends tomorrow.

Girl Who Got Away, an album that will make her headline news again, was written with the help of her son Stanley BEFORE he was born.

“I recorded a lot of the album while pregnant and I loved having a little mate kicking when I was singing,” she reveals. “There’s nothing nicer than singing and having a little dancing friend inside.

“Certain songs he really wriggled around for, and certain songs he wouldn’t – it was quite a good test of what should go on the record. He’s my biggest critic!”

Now 41, Brit Award winner Dido has shifted some 29 million albums but can walk down the road unrecognised, and shops in the supermarket.

“I love it that we have so many new women singers in Britain – Emeli Sand√©, Adele...,” she says. “There are so many amazing singers coming out of this country and I feel proud to be any part of that.

“But there’s nothing better for me than the life I’ve got now. I do music in quite a quiet way. I get to be with my family, with this thing on the side that is exceptional and is amazing.”

They are two words that could describe Dido’s return, with a setlist which delights in wrongfooting expectation at every turn.

Blackbird, a chirpy song which recalls Suzanne Vega hallmark Tom’s Diner turns out to be the dark story of a man walking out on his family.

End Of Night is an anti-love song, and both the title track and Sitting On The Roof Of The World have the melancholy feel of a Sarah McLachlan lament.

Let Us Move On, on the other hand, revisits that Stan success with rapper Kendrick Lamar as contrast to the song’s soft hook.

And Lennonesque No Freedom is an anthem that has already been taken up by Syrian rebels.

Dido has a new claim to fame. She’s the girl who came back.

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