Life for Rent doesn't offer anything that drastically different from Dido's debut album, No Angel -- the dance beats are marginally fresher, the production is clean and new -- but this predictibility is actually rather refreshing because the album delivers on its promise, unlike many sophomore affairs in 2003. That its promise is rather modest doesn't really matter, since Dido is successful at modest songs. She has a sweet, warm voice and a knack for tuneful modern folk-pop that sounds intimate while being confidently catchy and nicely atmospheric. In other words, it retains the feel of No Angel and its two big hits, "Here With Me" and "Thank You," without ever rewriting either song, but contributing songs like "White Flag," "Stoned," "Life for Rent," and "Do You Have a Little Time," which are nearly as memorable. 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. So, Life for Rent isn't much different than its predecessor, but that's a very good thing in this case.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine