Mitchell: Fans still wait for Dido
Dido; Greatest Hits (RCA)
I am sure Dido released this Hits package to cash in on the stocking stuffer season but with so many Xmas albums coming out, I only just now got to it.
Dido is not prolific but she is tremendously popular in spite of the long absences. She has released only four studio albums in the last 14 years yet every release has hit the Canadian sales charts in the top 10. I recall thinking on the occasion of her last studio album in March of last year that she now has enough ‘product’ out there now to release a Greatest Hits package and my prediction came true.
Fans will love this collection and for newcomers it is really all the past Dido they will ever need. This CD is front loaded with hits and sequenced chronologically with ambient EDM gems such as Thank You, White Flag, Here With Me, Hunter, Sand In My Shoe and others.
However, the real gold mine for big fans is the Deluxe Edition two-CD set that has 13 remixes from the likes of Deep Dish, Timbaland, DJ Cobra. Mantronix etc. And Hey—look for the Coldplay Hits set for next year.
Kellie Pickler: The Woman I Am (Black River Ent.)
This is ex-Am Idol contestant Kellie Pickler’s fourth album and although it sold at No. 4 in the country charts, it did not score a hit single. That has been the story for Pickler’s short musical career and without radio hits to drive country album sales, the major labels soon cut out what they consider deadwood.
As a result this new album has been recorded independently while Sony has picked it up for distribution. This explains the album title The Woman I Am as there is no overseeing major label to order or define her music.
There is plenty of roots country here with acoustic and rustic ballads and Pickler had fortunate timing on her side with the edgier original song Bonnie & Clyde released about the same time as the TV docu-drama.
The best track here is the very Pistol Annies-like No Cure For Crazy with its red-neck pretences which makes me wonder if the P. Annies are looking for a fourth member.
Jake Owen: Days Of Gold (RCA)
This is also Owen’s fourth album and oddly, just like Pickler, this disc sold as high as the No.4 spot in the country charts.
Owen had only slightly more success than Pickler when it came to radio hits where three singles released from this disc only barely scraped into the top 20.
Owens gig is a little too familiar now with overly good-natured party songs about pickups (both kinds), partying in the backwoods and beaches with beer—there is so much booze on Days Of Gold you almost wonder about his offal meats.
And if there is a misstep here on this uncomplicated album it might be on the strange, half spoken and oddly rhythmic Tall Glass Of Something, where I guess Owen is experimenting with hip hop.
Finally, maybe Pickler and Owen didn’t get too much radio time because of all the seasonal music—often success is all about timing.