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'Still on My Mind' review: Dido continues to craft her own vision of pop

Dido's "Still on My Mind" on BMG Records.

Dido's "Still on My Mind" on BMG Records. Photo Credit: BMG Records

DIDO

Still on My Mind

BOTTOM LINE Building her own poignant pop path

Dido’s voice remains as clear and affecting as ever, as startlingly touching as it was on the chorus of Eminem’s “Stan” and on her own hits like “Here With Me” and “White Flag.”

But on “Still on My Mind” (BMG), her first album since 2013’s “Girl Who Got Away,” Dido experiments with various musical contexts to convey new moods. The spare, synthesized grandeur of “Have to Stay,” about her maternal feelings, may be the simplest, but also the most successful. The single “Hurricanes” uses her voice like the eye of the storm, pulling in all sorts of dance music drama and noise before refocusing. And few singers can use straightforward ballads as defiant anthems the way Dido has, adding “Give You Up” and “Walking By” to her already-formidable catalog.

However, Dido can still manage some surprises. The thudding “Hell After This” is a sly, Tracey Thorn-ish thrill, while the loping swagger of “Mad Love” is a fun change of pace. 

“Still on My Mind” shows Dido, with help from her brother Rollo Armstrong of Faithless fame, still crafting her own vision of pop, untouched by the outside world.

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