Generally favorable reviews - based on 12 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 12
  2. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. This record seems to outweigh the previous album in terms of quality and depth.
  2. 80
    The emotional terrain is much more treacherous here, and more rewarding for it. [Oct 2003, p.114]
  3. The appeal of Life for Rent is what makes Dido appealing -- she's unassuming and gentle, but her songs are so melodic and atmospheric they easily work their way into the subconscious, and the records are well-crafted enough to be engaging on repeated plays.
  4. Dido's sharp lyrical point of view gives her otherwise routine chill-out music focus. [3 Oct 2003, p.72]
  5. That's not to say that it's bad--it's just that the radio-friendly chanteuse's lightweight fusion of beats and folk songs is sleepy and barely discernable from one track to the next.
  6. 70
    Easy listening with just enough unease to tease. [Nov 2003, p.125]
  7. Life for Rent isn't groundbreaking, but it has its own kind of integrity.
  8. Life For Rent breaks no new ground, and while the publicity machine proffers a failed Dido romance as its inspiration, the album retains her debut's style yet without its wonderfully miserable substance.
  9. Its best moments suggest that Armstrong is unfairly maligned.... At worst, it's twee and bland, aural wallpaper that only someone who didn't really like music could care about. Either way, it isn't going to change anyone's mind about Dido.
  10. Lacking its predecessor's edgy tone, Life For Rent offers up one bland, polite tune after another.
  11. Her bland-o-meter appears to be well and truly busted.
  12. In its own vapid, curiously sexless way, Life For Rent is actually fascinating stuff, so set against the usual rules of successful music that it starts to look oddly revolutionary. [Oct 2003, p.99]
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 46 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 19
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 19
  3. Negative: 2 out of 19
  1. johnb
    Feb 14, 2004
    The new album by Dido, 'Life for Rent' is definitely not as good as her debut. Perhaps the previous release was just too close to perfect to be easily surpassed. However, judged by its own standards, this is a good album to listen to. I somehow get the feeling that this album could be seen as a precursor to an even better attempt (her possible 3rd album). In other words, her best work is yet to come; this will not be it. The songs are well written (based on simple themes) and yes (that was the word which eluded me. Perhaps the aim here was beauty in simplicity) The beats are gentle; sound textures smooth, almost seamless. However, the songs border on being monotonous with one essential ingredient missing - (variation - which 'No Angel' despite its generic melancholy mood; did have, in terms of style.) I think that the acid test for her will be whether she can do a good 3rd album and go beyond that to prove that she is not just something of a fad. The album could have been worse, however; it does have its moments. Full Review »
  2. raVen
    Dec 7, 2003
    Enjoyable. Title track is really good. But since it in many ways resembles her first, don't expect any newness.
  3. MichaelH
    Oct 4, 2003
    Dido follows in a long line of talented Irish singers,( Sinead O'Connor, Dolores O'Riordan, and the Coors to some degree) with a beautiful voice. That the album is minimalistic to showcase this may come off to some as dull or boring. For those that have grown tired of all the new artist with overproduced, oversung, and overdubbed voices, (pick one!), it's refreshing to hear such a wonderfull sound. This may not have all of the hooks that the first album had, but with such little choices out there, it is still a nice counterbalance to the other "pop" garbage shoved in front of us. Sit back, listen and enjoy. Full Review »