Dido enjoyed a huge breakthrough in 1999 when her debut album No Angel was finally released in the UK. The album sold over 3 million copies in the UK alone and over 21 million copies worldwide. Her success was in part due to being sampled on Eminem’s monster smash Stan but Dido more than held her own with hits Here With Me, Thank You and Hunter. 14 years after her UK breakthrough, Dido is releasing her first Greatest Hits collection which features 18 tracks from her career so far.
Greatest Hits is sequenced in release order starting with her solo singles before rounding off with three collaborations and new track NYC. This is a timely release for Dido but unfortunately it makes it all too clear as to why she’s fallen from the top of the charts following the huge success of second album Life for Rent in 2003. The album starts off with her biggest hits from 1999’s No Angel and Life for Rent. Here With Me, Thank You, Hunter, White Flag and Life for Rent all sound as magnificent today as they did upon their release. Don’t Leave Home and Sand in My Shoes weren’t quite as successful but most people will recognise them from the Life for Rent album.
After that point it all goes a bit downhill really. Dido’s releases from 2008’s Safe Trip Home and her latest album Girl Who Got Away just weren’t all that memorable. They lacked the atmosphere and cool that her earlier singles had and failed to leave much of an impression. The best of the bunch is either Don’t Believe In Love or Everything To Lose from Sex and the City 2. Both tracks nicely bridge the sound Dido established on her first two albums. The other tracks are dare we say a little dull.
Things pick up again towards the end with the Faithless collaboration One Step Too Far and of course Dido’s iconic collaboration with Eminem on Stan. New track NYC hints at the direction Dido will pursue post this release and it’s encouraging. The beat is more uptempo and it’s reminiscent of the sound we loved when she first launched in the UK.
The deluxe edition of the album comes with a second disc featuring 13 remixes. The added disc is a real bonus as the remixes really do put a different spin on the otherwise mid-tempo sound that Dido usually goes for.
Greatest Hits is a mish-mash if we’re honest. Dido has had some great tracks in her career so far but these were all from her first two albums. Past that it’s all a bit bland and disappointing and she’s never managed to recapture the formula that made her so huge in the first place. We’re not ready to give up on her yet but it’s going to take something pretty amazing to top No Angel. The casual Dido listener will fail to recognise much after the first 5 tracks and that’s a real shame.