Sunday, 30 June 2013

Dido & Norah Jones

Music Tips For The Modern Pregnant Yuppie

Being a woman, being a pregnant woman, being a pregnant yuppie, you don't want any of that damn heavy metal noise polluting your ears. Bruce Springsteen may be a brilliant musician, but his loud death metal sounds are too unsubtle for you during those 9 months. You can always go back to the New Jersey peasant when you have the time and energy to go to that hang-out bar where all his truck-driving fans hang out, like your loving ex-husband whose seed you now carry.

What you want is something so calm it will put you and the baby right to sleep. Norah Jones is the ideal Artist for that. Her gentle voice, so placid it can barely be heard, combined with listless instruments so softly stroked by her sleepy band, make for an experience so mild that it barely exists.

Check out her new album, Calm Silence, where she displays her entire musical spectrum, which ranges from soothing jazz to restful blues. Indeed, so seamlessly do the tracks flow into one another that one doesn't even notice those 3-second breaks between songs. This ethereal album is like one long note of silent tenderness. The music is like a bee humming joyfully in fields covered with flowers – and all of this happening about 1500 km away from you. Can you hear it? Nearly. Almost. And that is the beauty of it.

A song that really stands out – well, it doesn't so much stand as lie down and sleep for a week -  is "                ". It is such a tender little pop/jazz ballad that it can't even be heard properly in the first 20-30 tries, and that is why it has its elusive non-title. After the 31st listen you might hear something, but that could just as well be a hallucination (or your cat purring). It isn't without reason that they also call her "The Queen Of Silence". Buy it. It is honest music, coming from the soul, and the soul is quiet as we all know. Quite frankly, this music is so honest it hurts.

You might also want to check out some albums from her more raunchy past as an Artist. The image was different but the trademark drowsiness is there.


Norah's only real threat in the world of audio apathy is Dido. Should whisper-singing performed by a semi-cute bimbo appeal to you, do not limit yourself to just Norah. Dido is a blonde - and so is her music. Brilliant texts that will have your eyes gushing with tears, that deal with a huge variety of topics such as lost love, found love, failed relationships, bad relationships, semi-bad relationships, sad break-ups, and unrequited love. But unlike Norah, Dido colours her hair blonde. Oh, we mentioned that already… Well, we can't think of anything else, which is exactly why fans of either star should check out the other. Perhaps it should be also mentioned that Dido wears high heels occasionally, whereas Norah puts on sneakers mostly. And… Oh, yes: Dido is four months older. 

On her brilliant new album, Love Songs About Love, Dido shows her entire brilliant vocal range. On some songs she talks and on some she whispers, but with a sort of quasi-nasal pitch that only birds, some dogs, and the tone-deaf can hear. And they are all brilliant. My favourite must be "I Loved You, Too", in which Dido whisper-sings about a guy with whom she had a failed romance, telling us how he loved her and how she loved him, too. Another brilliant and amazingly unique highlight is "Missed You So Much", where she digs very deep into her innermost feelings to find out whether she indeed does miss her boyfriend so very much. But the first single is the brilliant "Fallen Out Of Love", the best song ever recorded, in which she generously shares with the listeners how she fell out of love with a man she used to date once! Simply brilliant. Though maybe not quite as brilliant as the opener, "How Brilliant Is Your Love", which has to be my all-time Dido favourite, ever, and which deals with how Dido once experienced love with an ex that was brilliant.


Dido's artist name doesn't stem from her torrid affair with Dodi Al-Fayed. "Dido" is short for "ding-dong". However, "ding-dong" doesn't stand for "repetitious monotony" but was the nickname given to her by her parents because she used to ring on people's doors, offering sexual services for cash. It is by this miraculous and wonderful coincidence that she got discovered by a music producer. The world would perhaps have never heard her enchanting voice had this man not said 'yes' to her gaping mouth. 

We also hotly recommend some of Dido's earlier albums, released at a time when she was still establishing herself as an Artist. The image was different, but love was still very much the focal point.


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